Speakers: Kathleen Ballos, Owner, Ballos Associates Web Design
Kathleen Ballos on Website design
Kathleen Ballos: Hello. My name is Kathleen Ballos. I'm a Web developer in Boston, Massachusetts, and I've been providing Web development services to clients now since 1993. And recently one of my clients received a letter from her parent corporation telling her that her website was not compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. So she came to me for a solution. My main focus is developing and maintaining websites for the small to medium business. So I knew I had to find her a solution that was quick, seamless, and affordable.
What does Accessibility mean for websites?
Kathleen Ballos: Now you may be familiar with the Americans With Disabilities Act, which basically prohibits discrimination of individuals with disabilities from having access to goods and services, and mostly back then and still today, it applies to physical buildings such as schools, stores, restaurants, etcetera. But something that you might not know is that in 2018, the Department of Justice decided that websites fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act. And what that means is that website owners now have to get their website in compliance with WCAG regulations to have their website accessible to people with disabilities. That means people who are blind, people who use screen readers, the deaf, people with cognitive disabilities, anyone who needs to use a keyboard only to navigate a website. So business owners really have to put some effort into looking at their website and making sure it's compliant because unfortunately, there are lawsuits going on and people can get themselves in a jam if their website is not accessible.
What's the best way to make my website accessible?
Kathleen Ballos: So I did a lot of research and I looked at several options, and I chose Porter's ProADA solution because it met the criteria that I had set forth for my client base, which was affordability, efficiency, and quick turnaround. The Porter team is very committed to making sure their client's websites meet the ADA standards and WCGA compliance. They provide you with a certificate of compliancy. They provide monthly reports of the health of your website, and they can help you with any other issues that might arise while they're doing the health check.
Why do I need to comply?
Kathleen Ballos: So of course I've been asked the question. Kathleen, do I really need to comply? And my answer is yes. For the following reasons: One, it's really our responsibility to make sure that all individuals can have the same access to the goods and services that are on the Internet that we do, regardless of their disabilities, and being the sister of a blind individual, it makes me very happy that these compliance regulations are being put in place so she has the same opportunity as everyone else. Another reason why you should comply is because there's a whole new market out there that you wouldn't be tapping otherwise. And if an individual with the disability can't navigate your website, they're definitely going to go to the competition, whose website they can navigate. And the third reason I bring up to my clients is lawsuits. Unfortunately, theres people out there that are suing business owners if their website is not ADA compliant, and that just could get really, really costly. So as a business owner, you should definitely highly consider making your website accessible to everyone.
Would you consider recommending Porter Consulting to others?
Kathleen Ballos: Whenever anyone asks me for a recommendation, it's hands down, Porter ProADA Solution for their website accessibility needs. The Porter team is well respected in their industry, and they're affordable, and professional in every aspect. So, go ahead and take the next step and get Porter ProADA on board on your website so you can service all the people out there that you might not have been able to previously. Keep the lawsuits off your back and enjoy your new market share.
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