We, as humans of this modern world, are witnesses to several changes and amendments. In the form of lifestyle or justice. These changes are not always achieved easily, some are the result of years and years of protests and hardships.
Women, differently-abled individuals, “lower classes”, and many others had to fight for their basic rights as an individual. These constant protests led to conversations, which led to the formation of acts and laws like women’s voting rights and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
What is ‘The Americans With Disabilities Act?’
In 1990, the United States passed a comprehensive civil rights law that was enacted to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination called The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is the reason we have things like disabled parking requirements, service counter height requirements, and wheelchair ramp mandates in building codes.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
This also includes an accessible and approachable online experience where websites, homepages, and portals are accessible to everyone- even those who use assistive technology for their internet experience.
ADA And Internet Usage
This act came one year before the first web page went live on August 6, 1991. Since this time, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been tasked to keep up with the ever-evolving world wide web and updating ADA guidance.
Organizations and businesses can be sued with demands being a figure they may or may not be able to afford. These demands are not just costly in terms of money, but also in terms of time.
Compare the cost of upgrading your website to a hefty ADA fine and suddenly affordable website migrations don’t seem expensive in the least. When hiring a web developer, it is important to choose a company that understands the laws in your state and knows how to ensure a compliant migration.
AAAtraq is an InsurTech ‘Online ADA’ commercial insurance solution providing integrated litigation costs coverage insurance and loss mitigation services; suitable for small and medium-sized organizations wishing to insure and protect themselves against the risks of non-compliance with the regulations in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Person Behind It All
While having a chat with Lawrence Shaw, legislation, industries, and challenges were discussed. Having a keen interest in software and computers, young Lawrence Shaw enjoyed writing computer games for the Sinclair ZX81 and COMMODORE VIC-20. Lawrence then completed his education with RAF by studying aeronautical physics and applied math.
Upon leaving the RAF, Lawrence was looking for job opportunities in his home city of Coventry. However, the only openings were in car manufacturing, which despite Lawrence’s interest in cars and motorsport, these wern’t the direction that Lawrence saw his career going.
Lawrence’s career moved to technology and he has been working on and with Automated Testing Teschnology for over 18 years now, testing and trying to make the web more accessible and compliant. The focus of this has been compliance technology targeting accessibility and privacy regulation.
“I suppose the fact that I struggle being told what I can’t do played a part in me wanting to start my own business. Plus, I had a £1 bet about whether I could achieve
this with a friend, who still hasn’t paid up!” says Lawrence about starting something on his own.
Where Did AAAtraq Come From?
Having worked with automated testing, Lawrence has witnessed several sites, portals and companies promising and claiming to have Compliance, but in reality, they fail to provide it. Organizations need to understand that they have a duty of care, and one of these responsibilities is to be inclusive. We wanted to weed out those promising compliant services by ensuring these services are easy to monitor.
This is what led to the establishment of AAAtraq in the year 2019.
What organizations need to do is:
- Understand where they stand (don’t just get a report from those providing services)
- Ensure they have protection ‘insurance’- human errors result in failure
- Make sure they can monitor any work that is completed
- Have robust vendor contracts in place for the work to be completed to ensure
accountability to meet the required standards.
What Services Does AAAtraq Provide?
The industry is focused on dealing with reacting to the problem, billions are being
spent repeatedly fixing websites. However, this doesn’t address the cause of the issue
AAAtraq’s Continuous Protection provides the services for organizations to deal with
Online ADA effectively by providing:
- Litigation cost coverage of up to $50,000 per claim.
- Intelligent, automated step-by-step compliance plan, tailored to the specific needs of insureds.
- Monitoring – easy-to-understand monitoring, to alert insureds to compliance issues and demonstrate improvement over time.
AAAtraq’s Compliance Identification and Risk Management Program enable digital equality to become a reality.
The commercial insurance company, based on its years of experience in developing automated compliance software, is working towards integrating the world’s first “pure” digital cost indemnity capability.
Challenges And Facing Them
Every initiative, personal or public, will have its own set of challenges and difficulties. It is what makes a company strong at its feet. AAAtraq views Funding as one of its biggest challenges.
To start something on your own, you need to have a basic revenue to get things going. When the business is centered on something not many organizations or the general public have heard of, it makes it even more difficult to find a donor willing enough to support the cause. That was something the company struggled with for quite a while before finding suitable and apt funding.
Running a company is laborious and strenuous with constant challenges and criticism all along. Taking every new step is difficult with constant changes around, be it about trends, legalities, or new additions to existing concepts.
Another one of their challenges was COVID. After the pandemic, customer preferences changed. Many organizations decided to go online and open their active portals. Organizations were neither focused nor aware of the regulations about being online.
Many have now become aware of physical ADA, things like curb cuts, buttons in
elevators, etc. However, several rules apply online –the realization of this has started to hit as litigation is passing $600,000,000 per month – people are now starting to understand that this is a risk, not a technical matter.
How Do Things Work Behind The Scenes At AAAtraq?
The company takes pride in the fact that they applied Remote-Working facilities before everything went online. Communication is key, you need to know how to communicate
effectively to make sure things go according to plan. We also have online planning
and communication which helps us all communicate on the tasks being worked on.
The company keeps the team spirit going through weekly company reviews and meetings so that everyone on the team gets to contribute, explore and inquire.
Every quarter or so, social events are held so that the team can have some relaxation as well as meet their teammates in person.
How Does The Company Deal With Customers?
AAAtraq conducts timely surveys with their clients to get feedback on their work. Clients are heard and each one of their complaints or query is given full attention.
A Message to Budding Entrepreneurs?
Lawrence Shaw believes that there is no easy way to be an entrepreneur. It can be as lonely as it is rewarding. The journey towards that destination will be anything but easy. For one venture that succeeds, there are a thousand that don’t.
You need to keep doing the right thing, don’t be afraid of the truth, and be upfront and honest.
Visit AAAtraq to know more about the best ADA compliance.