ADA Compliance: Does Your Website Discriminate Against Those with Disabilities?

The disability rights movement has, for a couple of decades, brought the injustices faced by people with disabilities to the public’s attention, eventually resulting in the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) in 1990. Designed to address discrimination in the areas of employment, public accommodation, public services, transportation and telecommunications, the ADA continues to expand its efforts to ensure equal opportunities for all.

Property owners and managers are familiar with physical ADA standards such as wheelchair ramps, and parking and lighting accommodations, but are you paying enough attention to your website?

All government websites and the websites of any organization that could be considered a “public accommodation” are required to comply with ADA guidelines.

Your Website is One of Your Properties

Though the use of technology has increased at a rapid rate, even for those who are sight and hearing impaired, guidelines for accessibility have grown at a slower pace. The most recent set of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) came ten years after the 2.0 version.

The new guidelines increase the number of “success criteria” that are possible, but in most cases, allows for organizations to comply at differing levels:

  • Level A: Compliance with WCAG 2.0
  • Level AA: The level property managers should comply with
  • Level AAA: Compliance with WCAG 2.1

Why should you level up, if you can? The new success criteria not only address changes in technology, they also expand the range of disabilities that may be helped by greater accommodations. In addition to sight and hearing disabilities, this can include those with limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and even some learning and cognitive limitations. Gaining greater access to vital information via desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices can be a life-changing for disabled individuals.

Download our 7 Key Steps to ADA Compliance on Property Websites

In our new download, you’ll learn:

  • Why ADA compliance is important
  • How ADA compliance provides a better experience for all users, potentially improving your organizations’ bottom line
  • The ADA guidelines your team should know how to implement if they add or update content on your website
  • How to stay informed about ADA updates

BONUS: Contains a convenient compliance checklist!

Download 7 Key Steps to ADA Compliance on Property Websites

handicapped person accessing computer

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Monitoring Affordable Compliance in a Crisis (and Beyond)

In a recent blogpost entitled 4 Tips for Weathering the Storm, our founder and President Elizabeth Francisco wrote in the early days of COVID-19 that her first experiences with property management occurred during a crisis – the Great Recession of 2008. 

It was during this time that what was already difficult became unmanageable with the old methods (namely: stacks and stacks of Excel spreadsheets). Something had to give!

ResMan was birthed out of that refining challenge.

NAVIGATING THIS CURRENT CRISIS

For a crisis such as COVID-19, we’ve certainly seen unprecedented changes. Internally you’ve endured staff reductions, office closures and work-from-home staff, the need for PPE and social distancing, and widespread unemployment that impacted your residents. 

Externally, COVID-19 has heavily disrupted the policies, procedures and deadlines of the Affordable Housing industry. The subsequent CARES Act has demanded massive learning curves for keeping up with a swiftly evolving situation.

But sometimes crisis doesn’t just create new challenges, it puts current bottlenecks, barriers, glitches and inefficient workflows on steroids. It forces us to address problems and issues that were perhaps merely annoying or troublesome before with an openness to consider new ways to provide relief. In other words, we come to a point where something has to give!

3 ESSENTIAL TOOLS FOR AFFORDABLE COMPLIANCE

With COVID-19’s physically altered protocols for managing your property, it’s clear that technology is the way through. Ms. Francisco stated that “Reluctance to adopt efficient technology ultimately means you won’t be able to compete.” You’ll also find affordable compliance untenable without these tools.

And if that’s true any given day, it’s even more vital during our current economic disruption. Here’s what you must have:

1. Cloud-based software

With many staff still working from home, residents socially isolating and vendors operating only online, cloud-based software is an absolute must. It’s more important than ever to be able to access your information from anywhere, at any time.

2. Unlimited Document Storage

With electronic forms replacing paper forms due to the need to avoid contact, it’s vital for both you and your residents to be able to easily access all documents. They’ll need to be able to scan forms and upload them. This is something you needed anyway, in today’s consumer-driven quest for convenience.

3. Compliance Guidance

The CARES Act and frequent changes to local and federal policies have turned our industry upside down. 

     -You have questions about stimulus funds (is it a lump sum or recurring? what type of forms/reporting do you need to complete?). 

     -You’re trying to stay abreast of the ever-changing evictions process. 

     -You’ve got to devise a way to keep up with new payment plans. 

And these are just the tip of the iceberg.

The good news is that there is help available!

  • For starters, consider participating in associations such as NAHMA, to share and network ideas and to have a voice with the governing bodies of the programs.
  • Next, we recommend working with compliance experts dedicated to your success. (We have three, with 60 years’ combined experience!) Easy access to affordable housing experts and software that keeps you within intuitive compliance guardrails is game-changing during a crisis. (And pretty awesome the rest of the time.)

 

HOW RESMAN HELPS AFFORDABLE PROPERTY MANAGERS ANYTIME

The reality is that even before the pandemic, Affordable Housing compliance could feel like a crisis on any given day. So, whether it’s 2020’s calamities or business-as-usual, you can put your compliance in ResMan’s hands:

  • Our Affordable comprehensive compliance suite is always up-to-date, automating, ensuring accuracy and helping you avoid costly compliance risks. 
  • Our Affordable experts speak your language!


Request a free demo of ResMan Affordable to see how we’re changing affordable property management software to make your job easier than ever before.

Check out the Features that Make Up ResMan’s Virtual Leasing Office

Discover for yourself how ResMan can help you continue to adapt and innovate.

Request a Free Demo

Resources to Help You Stay Ahead

Committed to Service and Support Through COVID-19

Read More

ResMan Debuts Commercial Property Management Solution

Read More

The 9 Essential Skills of a Property Manager and How to Build Them

Read More

Using Texting to Safely Communicate During Covid-19

Read More