Imaginuity Centers provides a scalable website solution built specifically for shopping centers of all assets types. The platform is a multi-site solution designed to offers shopping centers a search and user-friendly system to establish a strong web presence and high visibility in search.
BRINGING INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY TO SHOPPING CENTER
Introducing Imaginuity Community Connect
Imaginuity Community Connect (ICC) is the future of real-time, customer engagement. Our proprietary platform is the first of its kind.
ICC enables you to connect with your customers in a meaningful way by delivering relevant, on-demand information through their voice-assistant devices like the Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomePod
Since the platform is device agnostic, configuration for anticipated future devices (Sonos. Microsoft, IBM Watson) will also be available.
TACKLING ISSUES OF THE DAY THAT MATTER TO YOU
A Look at WCAG 2.0
The issue of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance for public-facing websites has been looming for quite some time. It is becoming a serious concern for many companies; chief among them, retailers.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) was released in 2008 by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and sets the international standards for making website content more accessible to a wide range of people with disabilities. WCAG 2.0 has two distinct areas of compliance. The first is that the software running the website must be compliant to a set of specific programming standards. The second is that the content within the website must be compliant to a set of specific accessibility standards.
While WCAG 2.0 is now accepted as an international standard for web content access, there has been no official administrative mandate by the U.S Government, specifically the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). To date, compliance has been voluntary.
For many pubic-facing entities, the concern over WCAG 2.0 compliance really began to gain traction in 2006. That year, the National Federation of the Blind filed a class action lawsuit in California against the Target Corporation. The suit alleged that blind people were unable to access much of the information on Target.com nor able to purchase anything from its website independently and was therefore in violation of the ADA. The suit coincided with a California court opinion that a retailer could be sued if its website was inaccessible to the blind because it’s considered discrimination. In 2008, the parties reached a $10,000,000 settlement!
Where We Stand Today
Since the 2006 Target Corp. lawsuit, numerous advocacy groups have been vocal about the need for businesses to comply with WCAG 2.0. And, while there continues to be no legal mandate regarding ADA compliance for websites, the DOJ is actively monitoring the results of legal actions brought to the courts by these advocacy groups.
Plaintiff class action lawsuits, in the vein Target Corp, continue to be brought against national retailers. To date, over 250 lawsuits have been brought against companies in the United States.
Additionally, the DOJ has taken the forceful stance that WCAG 2.0 Priority A and Priority AA issues should be addressed by all public-facing websites. The DOJ has given strong signals that it will formally adopt WCAG 2.0 sometime in 2018, turning voluntary compliance into a legal requirement.
Today, even in the face of pressure from advocacy groups, the DOJ’s position, and the continuing litigious atmosphere, many retailers have been slow to comply with WCAG 2.0.
What it All Means
Admittedly, the task of compliance can be costly in terms of time, technical resources and money. But the other side of that coin, the non-compliance side, also carries significant risk regarding lengthy lawsuits, hefty attorney’s fees, potentially large settlements, negative press coverage, and damage to a brand’s reputation.
This conundrum has brought on a new wave of anxiety and urgency as many retailers grapple with how to best approach WCAG 2.0 compliance.
ADA compliance of retailer websites is now extremely important because so many people have turned to the Internet for everything from initial product searches, to product research, to product purchase. Literally, everyone now uses the Internet to engage with retailers. As a matter of fact, 8 out of every 10 Americans are now shopping online according to a study from Pew Research.
We certainly take ADA Compliance and WCAG 2.0 seriously. We believe that the best course of action includes a proactive compliance plan; one that addresses all WCAG 2.0 Priority Level A and AA issues of the website code and content, and maintains best practices going forward.
For our Centers clients, Imaginuity performs a quarterly website analysis using an ADA compliance scanning tool to ensure that the website of each property that is on the Imaginuity platform adheres to WCAG 2.0 Priority A and AA guidelines.
Today, we live in a omni-channel world where the customer experience is king, and every Internet user should be able to access all web content. It’s critical to not only understand WCAG 2.0, but also to be proactively compliant to ensure accessibility for all customers.