Speaker: Kathleen Ballos, Owner, Ballos Associates Web Design
Kathleen Ballos: Hello. My name is Kathleen Ballos. I'm a Web Developer in Boston, Massachusetts. I've been developing websites for a little over 17 years, and my main business focus is developing and maintaining websites for the small-to-medium sized business. And recently one of my clients got a letter from her parent corporation stating that her website was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. So she gave me a call and wanted to know what her options were. And I knew from experience that to go into her code and make the changes necessary to get her site compliant would be too costly and too time consuming, because the code would have to be changed and maintained on every page, according to changing legislature. So, that's when my search for something, that would benefit me and my clients began. And I needed something that was simple, affordable, and seamless.
What does Website Accessibility really mean & why is it important?
Kathleen Ballos: So you're probably familiar with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 which states that all brick and mortar businesses must provide adequate accommodations for disabled people to obtain their goods and services. Something that you probably don't know is that in 2018, the Department of Justice decided that websites should fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act. So what that means is that website owners have to make sure their content can be heard, can be seen, can be understood by people with various disabilities, including deaf users, blind users, cognitive users, and anyone who may have to use assistive technology to help them navigate a website. And just like the brick and mortar businesses, I'm afraid if your website doesn't comply, you definitely can be the subject of a lawsuit.
What do I need to do to make my website accessible?
Kathleen Ballos: So I did a lot of research. I tested a lot of solutions, And, in the end, I chose Porter's ProADA Web Accessibility solution. Porter Consulting is totally focused on providing a solution to Web owners that's affordable, easy to implement, and has quick turnaround. So what I got was websites that were compliant within 48 hours, a certificate of compliance to post on my website, and round-the-clock protection, which brings such peace of mind, because when legislation changes, I don't have to worry about what do I have to, or what do I have to tell my clients they need to pay for now because legislation has changed. So, all in all, it's the perfect solution for me and my clients.
Why do I need to comply?
Kathleen Ballos: Of course I've heard the question: "Well, do I need to do this"? "Do I need to comply"? But as a business owner and providing a service to clients, I want my clients to maximize their opportunities on their website. So having an ADA compliant website, it shows everyone that you care about the disabled person and that you want to extend your goods and services to that market. It also opens up a whole new market that you might not have been aware even existed, because now you're able to service people that previously weren't able to navigate your website, so they went elsewhere. So it's really a smart business thing to do. And, you know, it also keeps the internet trolls out there from targeting small businesses and trying to sue them because of non-compliance. And unfortunately, that happens. But another reward for me is that I am the sister of a blind individual, and it just makes me glad that she can use the internet and get the same information that I do.
Would you consider recommending Porter Consulting to others?
Kathleen Ballos: Working with Porter was easy. I got quick turnaround, easy implementation, affordable product. I mean, the whole package was exactly what I needed for me and my clients. And the Porter team is just so helpful and professional, and I couldn't be happier. I would definitely recommend them to anyone who asked me for a solution to the ADA website compliance issue. So, me and my clients
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