According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 61 million American citizens with a disability.

The numbers vary per different groups and communities. For example, about 40% of adults over the age of 65 have a disability, while one in every four women lives with a disability.

Passed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits any form of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. In the business circle, ADA laws apply to all private businesses employing 15 (or more) people. Besides preventing discrimination, employers under the ADA law also need to make proper accommodations for employees with disabilities to perform their designated job.

The latest statistics outline an upsurge in the number of ADA lawsuits in recent years. According to law firm Seyfarth Shaw, over 11,400 ADA lawsuits were filed in 2021. This marked a 4% increase from 2020 and a 320% increase from 2013.

What Are the Downsides of Not Complying With ADA?

For enterprises, non-compliance or violation of the ADA can result in severe consequences. For non-compliance with ADA, companies are levied fines of up to $75,000 and up to $150,000 for additional violations.

Government agencies and healthcare facilities that do provide adequate “accommodations” to the disabled are liable for lawsuits, legal penalties, and injury claims. Among the major downsides of non-compliance, companies can lose their business reputation and brand image even for a single act of violation.

In the digital age, ADA regulations are also applicable to business websites. Web accessibility (as described by the W3C) means that “websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them.” This covers all types of disabilities, including auditory, cognitive, physical, and neurological.

Recent statistics on web accessibility reveal that only 2.6% of websites are accessible to persons with disabilities. Besides, companies lose $6.9 billion yearly in revenues to competitors (with accessible websites). The 2022 WebAIM accessibility report found that 97.4% of the top million websites are not compliant with ADA laws.

Small businesses with non-compliant websites are also facing lawsuits under ADA. Business enterprises either had to shut down their business or redirect their traffic to Facebook whenever faced with any accessibility issues.

The good part is that organizations can use software testing tools and technology to identify and fix any accessibility issues. Let’s see how in the next section.

How Can Software Testing and Designing Help in Meeting ADA Guidelines?

What does an ADA-compliant website or application mean? It means designing software tools fit for use by persons with disabilities, including visual impairments, mobility issues, auditory challenges, and cognitive conditions.

Under the W3C guidelines, effective accessibility must comply with the following four principles:

  1. Perceivability: This means that website content and user interface is easy to understand (or perceive) by all individuals. For example, Alt text for website images.
  2. Operability: This means that ADA-compliant websites and applications are easy to navigate and operate by all users. For example, keyboard-enabled website navigation.
  3. Understandability: This means that content (or instructions) on all websites and user interfaces are easy to understand. For example, the use of meaningful statements instead of colors.
  4. Robustness: This means that all website or application content is accessible to all users on different devices. For example, desktop computers, mobile phones, and tablets.

Be it manual or automated, accessibility testing is the means of ensuring that websites and applications follow the above W3C guidelines. Here are the essential elements of web accessibility testing:

  • Visual tools include the use of:
  • Screen readers for website and UI navigation
  • Distinguishable colors for visually impaired persons
  • Text alternatives to images
  • Motor or mobility tools such as:
  • Voice recognition tools
  • Touch screens
  • Keyboard overlays
  • One-handed keyboards
  • Auditory tools for video-based content include:
  • Captions
  • Text transcripts
  • Video descriptions
  • Cognitive or intellectual tools that provide:
  • Simple and easy-to-understand instructions
  • Intuitive website or UI design
  • Information and commands that are easy to understand

Effective accessibility testing is necessary for software companies to avoid penalties and legal complications. Besides, it can also potentially grow their market reach by including people with disabilities in its customer base.


Through proper testing and design, product companies can avoid the pitfalls of not adhering to ADA regulations. Besides that, web accessibility testing can help companies expand their potential customer base to users with different types of physical and cognitive disabilities.

As a technology partner, Kyyba Tech offers its customers services in software testing and quality checks. Our team of experienced QA professionals is skilled in different types of testing, including accessibility, functional, and performance testing. Our test automation services can help accelerate your product releases and resolve critical bugs. Are you looking for professional expertise in making your software product ADA-compatible? We can help you make this transition. Contact us with your requirements.

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