A Stitch In Time Saves Your Website—and Your Wallet


Jennifer Malcolm

Oklahoma State Representative Marcus McEntire is being sued, and not for the reason you might think.

Well, before running for office, McEntire and his wife founded a small business, called Distinctive Decor. They specialize in “rare and unique pieces,” from all over the world, that “are made with passion by highly skilled artisans.” The pair’s company has expanded over the years, and now occupies a 17,000 square-foot retail space, as well as a warehouse and call center.

Despite all of that, McEntire got hit with a federal lawsuit from the ADA, alleging that his website is not accessible to those with visual impairments and other disabilities.

“We didn’t even know that we were being sued,” McEntire told The Journal Record, an Oklahoma-based newspaper. He only found out he was being sued when he logged into his Distinctive Decor email and found several messages from defense lawyers, offering to represent him. He never received any complaints—verbal or otherwise—from customers about the accessibility of his website.

McEntire is not the only small business owner facing serious federal lawsuits due to website accessibility issues. Several others in his area are also being sued for similar reasons. And it isn’t just in Oklahoma, either. The ADA has been sending out demand letters to companies for lack of website accessibility on an increasingly regular basis.

In 2022 alone, 3,255 companies were sued for having websites that were not usable by disabled individuals, a 12% uptick from the previous year. While physical locations and discriminatory business practices used to be the primary target for the ADA, the internet seems to be the new frontier.

As a small business owner, you might consider making the necessary changes—such as color fixes—yourself. However, many of these changes may require a professional touch. While some might balk at paying an outside web developer or marketing company to fix accessibility issues, there are many pitfalls of ADA compliance that can be extremely costly—especially in court. Outsourcing your website and marketing work could save you thousands of dollars.

Case in point: McEntire reports that he received an offer to settle the suit for $20,000. “They think they’ve got somebody with deep pockets, but we’re a mom-and-pop shop,” he said. Fighting the lawsuit in court would cost about the same as settling. He countered the offer by proposing a settlement of $2,000, which is essentially what he had paid a company to rectify the accessibility issues on his website. Because there are no clear-cut guidelines from the ADA on website compliance, “even though I made [my website] compliant in this attorney’s eyes, it may not be in others,” McEntire points out. He could very easily be sued again. He’d love to make amendments to the ADA, giving business owners more time to make necessary changes. “There needs to be a better way to do this than just suing the pants off people,” he notes. Outsourcing the website compliance issues, in McEntire’s case, takes a load off of his plate. In the face of a serious legal issue, he doesn’t have to worry about the ins and outs of his website anymore. It’s in the hands of professionals who are well-versed in best practices, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

There are lots of other benefits to outsourcing, too. Outsourcing gives you the ability to tap into great minds outside your organization, each with their own set of skills and expertise. Additionally, you get a good opportunity to look at things with new eyes—have you considered doing it this way? Running these metrics? Making these adjustments? Getting a second opinion is an excellent way to elevate your marketing strategy and make lasting, impactful changes. Even without a lawsuit, outsourcing allows you to focus on the most important part of your business: running it! The day-to-day running of a business only becomes more difficult when you have to think about marketing, ads, SEO, content creation, and more. With outsourcing, someone can handle all of that for you while you manage the rest. And, not to be your grandma about it or anything, but they say that a stitch in time saves nine. If you don’t already have the ADA breathing down your neck, now is the time to make the necessary changes and bring your website up to speed. Keep the ADA out of your business—and, more importantly, give everyone else access to your services.

Jennasis can do all that for you, and so much more! Want to get started? Click here!


Jennasis & Associates is a full-suite digital marketing agency with a deep love for all things marketing, from brand strategy to social media management. (Don’t make us pick a favorite!) Our diverse, creative, agile team is united by a core passion: to help your business grow and thrive.

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