Adventuremaui.com is committed to assisting those with disabilities in their planning Hawaii vacations.
As a small business that provides information and reservations for a wide variety of tours and activities in Hawaii, we recognize a moral obligation to present a website that takes the needs of users with disabilities into consideration and accommodates them to the best of our ability. Our small business does not fall into the "public accommodation" definition of Title III of Americans with Disabilities Act as we do not directly operate any of the tours or venues featured here on our website and we do not have a physical location open to the public. This does not, however, lessen our desire to do the right thing! Our obligation to assist those with disabilities is not a LEGAL one, but it certainly is a moral and ethical one.
Currently the status of ADA standards for Accessible Design are not clearly defined. The general trend is to to accept the W3C's "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines", but these are just guidelines and not a legal requirement. Current state of affairs on the internet regarding accessibility issues is pretty bleak. Very few small business websites take any accessibility issues into account with their design. The frameworks and templates that small businesses like ours rely upon to provide the "bones" of our websites do not even address disabled users at all! In reasearching this issue we have found many "widget-based" services that provide a website ovarlay to instantly provide accessibility features by adding a few lines of code. While these services are inexpensive and slick, they are primarily designed to address LEGAL requirements and prevent lawsuits. Many disabled users dislike them, and these widgets intrude on the user experience of ALL website users. We decided that we want to address accessibility issues to the best of our ability in the actual design of our site, rather than relying on a quick fix that requires little thought or effort on our part.
What we have done and what we are doing to address accessibility issues on Adventuremaui.com? We have implemented "skip links" at the top of each page of our website ... when the page is entered using a TAB key these links appear offering users a text link to SKIP to the Main Content section of the page, or to go to the KEYBOARD NAVIGATION menu that duplicates the drop-down menu structure found on our site. This text-based menu uses a large, easy-to-read font and is friendly to navigate using only the TAB and ENTER keys of the user's keyboard.
We have completed enabling keyboard navigation of all of our reservation forms and are starting to provide text descriptions of the thousands of images that are presented on our website. We are also working on a new site design for Adventuremaui.com that will implement accessibility standards from the ground up. Our accessibility is a work in progress, but we ARE committed to this process.
We cannot guarantee to provide the same level of accessibility to every potential user on the World Wide Web ... this is simply an impossible and unrealistic task. But we can and will provide a website that functions natively for disabled users who rely on screen readers and keyboard navigation. We welcome feedback from disabled users in how we can improve our site, and we promise to make up for any functional deficencies by providing ALTERNATE MEANS of serving you. If our website is difficult for you, as a disabled user, we will provide a superior level of PERSONAL CONCIERGE SERVICE to you at no extra cost via email, SMS text, phone, or other means. We are committed to getting you the information you need and assisting in helping you make your plans.
If you have a disability and require assistance using our website, or wish to report to us your experience using Adventuremaui.com and offer insight in how we can improve, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Click on the link and it will open your default mail program ... or call us at 808-876-7777
Finally, a word about special accommodations for disabled individuals wishing to participate in the tours and activities featured on our website ... we do not operate any of these tours ourselves, but we WILL contact the tour operator on your behalf with any special accommodation requests. Many tours have restrictions mandated by the tour operator's insurance company that limits the tour to guests who can safely participate based upon age, height, weight, physical capabilites, previous injuries, medical history, pregnancy, etc. Some tour operators are able to make special accommodations in some cases, but not in others. We welcome inquiries about accessibile tour participation for any tours featured on our website using the links in the previous paragraph.