NASDAQ - false sense of security?
26 Mar 2021
Research suggests there may be a false sense of security amongst NASDAQ companies over ADA compliance - almost all of the biggest tech companies in the USA are failing to meet the necessary standards to ensure their websites meet ADA compliance regulations.
[March 26th, 2021 LONDON] The latest research by InsurTech company AAAtraq (www.aaatraq.com), has found that almost all of the biggest tech companies in the USA are failing to meet the necessary standards to ensure their websites meet ADA compliance regulations.
“This degree of failure calls into question whether risk officers within NASDAQ companies have a complete picture of how comprehensively their online content is adhering to ADA requirements,” said Lawrence Shaw, CEO of AAAtraq.
AAAtraq analysed the top 100 NASDAQ company websites for content failure and found that 84% are at high risk, with a further 15% showing a medium risk. Only Alphabet is demonstrating a low risk, demonstrating a good level of compliance with the ADA.
“We’ve been auditing the NASDAQ 100 for the past four quarters and the rankings haven’t changed significantly,” added Shaw. “Key is qualifying ADA Compliance, it’s essential for executives and risk managers to take more responsibility for understanding whether their websites meet ADA requirements, rather than relying on just being being told ‘All in hand / everything is OK’ far too much complacency across digital, worse is the self-sign off by service providers”
The findings come despite many sites featuring accessibility statements claiming compliance whilst not achieving the necessary online standards.
Increasing emphasis on executive responsibility is also emerging with companies such as Apple (link under screenshot / right) linking executive pay to performance against issues such as accessibility.
With the COVID-19 pandemic increasing the importance of digital transactions and interaction to companies and their customers across the US, websites have become the predominant method for those with disabilities to access goods, services and information.
“Complying with ADA standards is critical to ensuring an organization does not discriminate online,” continued Shaw. “Before 2020 a website was part of a business. Now it is the business.”
“There needs to be a change in mind set for many firms. If you were designing a new building for your company you would ensure it was accessible for all. A website is an increasingly important part of the way clients and the public access a company’s services and the same level of attention to compliance needs to be applied online as with physical workplaces.”
“Companies need to treat ADA compliance as a risk management issue and ask how they are measuring accessibility risk and mitigating the impact of content failure. We have seen a significant increase in the level of website accessibility litigation with compliance the only real defence.”
Shaw added while it is understandable for many businesses the focus for their website is its commercial applications. But companies ignore ADA compliance accessibility at their peril, leaving the door open for litigation and the damage to the brand it would cause.
“As the world emerges from the COVID pandemic there is already a move to greater levels of remote and digital working. The need to take digital compliance seriously is even more pressing and an issue that should be high on the agenda of risk managers up and down the US,” concluded Shaw.
AAAtraq (www.aaatraq.com) is an InsurTech company for those that manage risk. Our service shields organizations from ADA website compliance litigation with up to $50,000 of costs coverage.
For $99/month and within an hour, clients are protected from legal aggression and are demonstrating reasonable adjustment.
Clients can then follow a step-by-step plan that helps make ADA compliance easier to understand, less distracting to achieve, with a lower cost to maintain.
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