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Businesses are increasingly facing hefty lawsuits over web content that isn’t accessible to people with disabilities. More than 2,000 web accessibility lawsuits were filed in 2018 and in 2019, and employers must make sure they are in compliance.

It’s estimated that one in four adults in the U.S. has a disability. If a website isn’t accessible, the business is excluding one-quarter of the adult population and that isn’t fair.

People who have visual, hearing or motor impairments, or cognitive, learning or speech disabilities may not be able to access content on websites. Accessibility can be attained by adapting websites to screen readers used by the blind, adjusting color contrast and keyboard navigation, and using captions on videos.

Businesses that have existing websites should check with a website designer for upgrades to achieve compliance. The accessibility requirements will be incorporated in the design and coding of new websites.

Some lawsuits say the lack of accessibility violates Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which became law in 1990 and prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. While the ADA doesn’t address websites or mobile apps specifically, Title III states that government entities and “places of public accommodation” must be accessible to those with disabilities. In 2018, the Department of Justice affirmed that the ADA’s reference to places of public accommodation applies to websites. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which has been updated, also regulates web content accessibility.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which were reissued in 2018 as WCAG 2.1, are known as the standard for web accessibility. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international group that establishes standards for the web globally, developed its first set of WCAG guidelines and released them in 1999. The guidelines were updated in 2008 as well as 2018.

Web accessibility is a hot topic and employers need to know about compliance.  HR leaders and hiring managers want our businesses to be accessible to everyone.

Does your workforce reflect your commitment to diversity?

In the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody and the protests that have followed, employers must make sure their mission and values for diversity and inclusion aren’t just words but are truly represented in their workforce.

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Stay compliant with HR audits and strengthen your team

Like a tune-up that keeps your car running smoothly, Human Resources Compliance Audits make sure your company is following its policies and meeting the requirements of changing laws.

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Fine tuning

Be sure to tune in to “Connections Count” at 1 p.m. Mondays on Unity Radio 97.9 FM.  Darlene Corbett and I host the radio show, which also can be found on Unity Radio’s website at https://www.wuty979fm.org/monday. We’d love to hear from anyone who would like to be a guest on our show. Email us at  connectionscount@gmail.com.

50+ Job Seekers meets on Zoom

The 50+ Job Seekers Networking workshops are being held on Zoom this fall. The meetings, which run from 10 a.m. to noon, are:

  • Oct. 27: Use LinkedIn as Job Search Tool
  • Nov. 10: Develop Your STARS/PARS
  • Nov. 24: Network Your Way to a New Career
  • Dec. 8: Create a Marketing Plan/Job Search Toolbox
  • Dec. 15: Panel event: Practice Interviewing with Employers

The registration page for first-time participants is at https://mcoaonline.com/employment/50-plus-job-seeker-networking-groups/.

 

Have a question about Human Resources? You can reach me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.

AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS

Melody L. Beach Consulting Group
Proud Member of
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)
PARWCC The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches Woman in Business (WIB)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
BNI Referral Champions Worcester Chapter
Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
50+ Job Seekers
Massachusetts Councils on Aging (MCOA)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) of Central Massachusetts
Women's Information Network (WIN)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

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Melody L. Beach Consulting Group, Human Resources, Southbridge, MA