Being digital compliant with American Disability Act – ADA is something that concerns all hotels in the United States today.
As a consultant and hotelier, it is important today that I look at all innovative processes to help hotels back to a new and bright future.
Inclusiveness is a value and principle all hotels need to start adapting today.
According to Bureau of Transportation Statistic, an estimated 25.5 million American have disabilities that makes travel outside their home a challenge.
These numbers account for adults and children. In many cases, disability will impact a family’s travel plans.
Creating a disability friendly and inclusive digital hotel
“Finding a hotel that can accommodate my Sensory Processing Discorded (SPD) child is like finding a unicorn.” -Kate Joyce
Digital compliance with American Disability Act – ADA is not very complex in itself.
American Disabilities Act – ADA requires that people with disabilities must be able to access public buildings and use the same services as able-bodied people, so too should people with disabilities be able to access and navigate the Internet.
It sounds simple enough, but every time I talk with someone that has to adjust their travel due to disability it is far more complicated.
Why is it so complicated to become more disabled-friendly and inclusive?
People I talked with that are impacted by disability were told they were willing to pay more if the hotel just meets some of their basic needs.
As hoteliers, we need to strive to do better to become more disabled-friendly, and inclusive. They should not have to pay more just to have their basic needs met. This should be part of any hotel’s service offers!
A disabled friendly and inclusive hotel benefits everyone and creates new market opportunities.
Principles of Web Accessibility
American Disability Act – ADA is a law, though web compliance has no clear rules. But there have been court rulings that suggest every hotel should become digital compliant.
Since there are no clear rules within American Disability Act – ADA most businesses follow guidelines within Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – WCAG 2.1.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – WCAG 2.1 defines how to make Web content more accessible to people with disabilities. Accessibility involves a wide range of disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities.
WCAG 2.1 ensure your hotel content is:
Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
This means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented (it can’t be invisible to all of their senses)
Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.
This means that users must be able to operate the interface (the interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform)
Understandable – Information and the operation of the user interface must be understandable.
This means that users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface (the content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding)
Robust – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.
This means that users must be able to access the content as technologies advance (as technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible)
Success Criteria – For each guideline, testable success criteria are provided to allow WCAG 2.0 to be used where requirements and conformance testing are necessary such as in design specification, purchasing, regulation, and contractual agreements. To meet the needs of different groups and different situations, three levels of conformance are defined: A (lowest), AA, and AAA (highest).
Why should hotels be digital compliant with American Disability Act – ADA?
In today’s digital environment it is all about communication. Hotels today need to invest in cost-effective tools and processes that allow them to communicate well both internally and externally.
And for people that are impaired with a disability communication is really important.
There are technologies, tools, processes, and advocacy groups that will help hotels becoming more digital compliant.
By taking advantage of workflow automation and advanced processing, such as artificial intelligence – AI and machine learning, hotels can connect the dots on the customer journey in a way that wasn’t possible before.
This provides hotels with a unique opportunity to makes changes to attract families that otherwise wouldn’t travel or stay at an Airbnb.
Making your hotel’s website digital compliant not only helps you avoid lawsuits, but you position yourself to provide much-needed accommodation.
But the most important principles of transforming your hotel’s website into ADA digital compliance are:
- Collecting important relevant data
- Cost-effective resource management
- High-value customer insight
- Improved customer experience
- Community collaboration
- New inclusive and value-based culture
- Increased revenue
- Improve productivity
- Optimize reputation management
- New important data for SEO
Making your hotel’s website digital compliant with American Disability Act – ADA is a worthwhile high-value process.
If you are not sure if your hotel is digital compliant there are many free tools available, you can use to check it. WAVE is a recommended free tool many use today.
Though as always paid tools will provide you with more valuable insight that helps you make the right decisions.
Today every hotel should strive to become an inclusive partner. We are at a time where every customer should feel welcomed.
Remember customer experience is not selective – it’s inclusive!
We are in this together!
I need to let you all know that we are in on this together. If you need to vent, talk, cry, or just have some to talk with then I am here listening. Since I am working part-time at the local Kroger, I will to the best of my ability to work it out around my schedule.
But you can reach me here:
Also, join us at our Facebook Group – Hotel Social Media Community
We will get through this unprecedented event together! #hotelstrong #hospitalitystrong
We are starting to reopen some hotels again (Yay!!!). Make sure you follow their guidelines and say THANK YOU to those that now show a unique spirit to serve, and helps us all get through this!! #hotelstrong #hospitalitystrong
About Are Morch
Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Digital Marketing Coach and Customer Experience Expert specializes in creating effective digital customer experience offer for hotels while growing and scale customer acquisition and revenue.