Story

From Kris Rivenburgh, founder:

In 2017, I happened upon a news headline that someone had been sued because their website wasn’t ADA compliant. The write-up was interesting, I had never even considered the idea of making a website ADA compliant.

But after I read the article, I moved on to the next thing and that was the end of my ADA compliance reading.

Until I noticed another company get sued.

And then another.

And then more.

As the lawsuits started to stack up, I thought, I really need to find out what’s going on here.

So I researched for days. I read all sorts of blog posts and articles written by law firms, accessibility companies, and marketing providers. I also watched YouTube videos explaining compliance and accessibility.

But I was still confused.

No one was clearly explaining the subject matter. No one was saying, “Here’s exactly what the situation is and what you need to do.”

The more I read, the more I realized that either nobody understood what was going on or they couldn’t explain it in easy to understand terms.

The truth was, I didn’t fully understand it myself but I had read enough to know that I understood it better than anyone else who was writing the guides.

And with that, I opened up a Medium column and wrote my first ADA compliance article, now titled, ADA Compliance for Websites in Plain English. It was an instant hit. For two years, it ranked #1 on Google for “ADA website compliance.”

Screenshot of thank you comment on Medium article, transcription provided below.

I received so many nice emails and messages as a result.

A comment from Christine Zito on the article was representative of the positive feedback:

Kris, THANK YOU for making this easy to understand. I’m a website designer and learning all this has been quite the journey. Scary at times. But the more I learn the more the fear dissipates. It’s funny how some will really thrive on people’s fear. In all reality what I’m doing is making my website accessible and here is how you do it, you know?
I’m writing a blog and I’m referencing you, is that okay?
Again, thank you so much … actually, thank you for caring,
Christine 🙂

Ranking #1 in Google was great because it brought attention, but the key was what Christine wrote in the first line: I made ADA compliance for websites easy to understand.

And that sentiment has been the foundation of everything I’ve done ever sense: making ADA compliance and website accessibility as simple and as easy as possible.

Seven months after publishing the Medium article, I purchased the Accessible.org domain name and began my push to make accessibility and ADA compliance accessible to everyone.

One resource I spent a lot of time on was my WCAG guide. Originally my WCAG guides were behind an email subscription, but I decided that I didn’t want to go that route. If somebody wanted my information on WCAG, I wanted them to be able to instantly download it.

And I really like that thousands of people around the world have downloaded and relied upon my WCAG materials as well as my accessibility statement template.

Again, the vision has always been the same: let’s make this as easy as possible.

That carries forward to present day. I continue to refine my messaging, information, and products and services to distill ADA compliance and accessibility into its purest form so that everyone can understand and implement it.

The ADA Compliance Program is the done-for-you service that allows people to finally have a sense of relief knowing that they can hand over their accessibility to a reliable provider who they can feel confident in auditing and remediating their website.

The WCAG Course and The ADA Compliance Course are the training programs that tell you exactly what you need to know and what you need to do.

And, of course, The ADA Book brand is the media hub (Book, Medium, YouTube, podcast) that I use to disseminate the message so that as many people as possible know about ADA compliance and website accessibility.

This really needs to be mainstream knowledge and I’ve dedicated years of my life to do my part.

If I can help you, you’re always welcome to contact me at kris@accessible.org.

Thank you very much for reading the Accessible.org story.

Let us know how we can help you or learn about our accessibility services.