The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all public accommodations make their facilities accessible to people with disabilities.
This includes online spaces like websites.
If you know little about ADA compliance or accessibility guidelines for website design, this blog post is for you!
We will discuss what ADA compliance means and how to make your website ADA compliant.
We’ll also discuss tools you could use to make your website compliant.
ADA Compliance: What You Need To Know About Website Accessibility Guidelines
What does ADA compliant mean for your business?
First, let’s go over what the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is all about.
The ADA legislation was created in 1990 by former President George H.W. Bush to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities in employment; public services like transport or government-operated buildings; and public accommodations, including businesses that sell or serve the general public.
This means all publicly available spaces must be ADA-compliant to accommodate people with disabilities just as easily as they would anyone else.
Which websites are required to be ADA compliant?
Any website that is either directly or indirectly involved in the exchange of business with the general public is required to be ADA compliant.
This includes small businesses, healthcare providers, and even online shops.
ADA does not require websites to be published in a specific format.
Does it matter if your site has been designed by someone who knows about accessibility or not?
You must find a web development company that knows about ADA compliance and can make your website accessible to everyone.
Websites should be built so that anyone with disabilities, like color blindness or low vision, could use them without any problems.
This is why it’s essential to have a website that doesn’t rely on color, for example.
Can you explain what accessibility means in terms of web design, development, testing, etc.?
Web accessibility means that a web page is understandable, navigable, and robust enough to support the use of assistive technologies.
This includes keyboard shortcuts in case someone has limited mobility in their hands or no vision at all.
If you want people with disabilities to access your website’s content just as easily as anyone else, then it needs to be ADA compliant!
Is Your Website ADA Compliant?
If you’re asking this question, then the answer will most likely be no.
It’s upsetting if you think about it, as I’m assuming that you have spent thousands of dollars investing on your website, only to find out that you can get sued anytime by lawyers who help defend people with a disability regarding this matter.
Websites should be accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.
This is why it’s essential to make sure your website complies with ADA guidelines and meets common compliance standards.
There are also specific site requirements that make a website ADA compliant.
The following points must be adhered to:
- All content on pages is accessible by keyboard or assistive technology such as screen readers and voice recognition software, without additional plugins.
- Forms include built-in labels and instructions with text alternatives where necessary.
- All content is available in an alternative text format such as audio, braille, or large print.
Hyperlinks have descriptive text and the correct tab order to prevent confusion when navigating with a keyboard only.
- The website and its pages are easy to navigate with a keyboard only.
- A site map is provided if more than three pages exist for the main content or navigation of the site. If there’s an index page, it must be marked up properly in HTML headings (H tags).
- All images have alternate text descriptions that accurately describe the content.
- All video and audio files have transcripts or accessible reports to make them understandable by assistive technology such as screen readers.
How seriously do you take ADA compliance?
I hope this article has helped you understand what it means to make your website ADA compliant.
Compliance should not be taken lightly, as many regulations are surrounding the issue, and if one isn’t met could land your business in a lot of trouble.
How can I make my business website ADA compliant?
This is a question that many business owners ask themselves.
If you are wondering if your website needs to be ADA compliant, the answer is yes!
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was implemented in 1990 and has continued to evolve over the years.
Businesses need to ensure they have an ADA-compliant design so all customers, with disabilities or without, can easily access information and know about your products and services.
ADA compliance is a legal requirement for businesses that want to operate online.
ADA defines specific guidelines and rules about making your website accessible to those with disabilities, the elderly, or people who don’t speak English as their first language.
What kind of tools do we need to make our site ADA compliant?
Tools that a website owner can use to make their business ADA-compliant are screen readers, voice recognition software, and other assistive technology.
WAVE toolbar (https://wave.webaim.org/extension/), an automated accessibility testing tool for checking websites’ compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
It has color coding features so errors can be easily identified.
Wave can also generate reports that show what issues need to be fixed and allow businesses to quickly, efficiently, and effectively carry out the necessary changes.
Another valuable software for checking and implementing ADA compliance is called AccessHand (https://accesshand.com/).
You can get started for free and pay a flat fee regardless of how many pages your website has or how much traffic you’re bringing in.
This is one of the in-house tools that we use at Enzon Media. We believe in our product so much that we use the same tool across all of our other and client websites.
There are other solutions out there that you can find. However, the most cost-effective, complete, and almost no branding accessibility solution you can see is this.
On top of commonly used accessibility features, AccessHand also offers Dictionary and Translation features, so browsing the internet is as easy as pie.
Check out the features list below:
What happens if my site isn’t ADA compliant?
Not being accessible online can have severe implications for any business that doesn’t comply with the guidelines set out in the ADA.
The Department of Justice enforces the law, and if a company fails to meet specific requirements, it opens up the possibility for legal action to be taken against them.
Having an ADA-compliant website can help businesses attract more customers from previously untapped demographics – those who may have been turned off from using your services due to accessibility issues.
It’s important to always think about ADA compliance when designing and developing a website for your business.
The guidelines are in place to provide the best possible experience for all visitors, so they must form part of any online strategy or marketing campaign you create.
Is your website ADA compliant?
How can you find out?
What should you do to comply with ADA guidelines and meet common compliance standards?
Let’s start this conversation in a comment below!
Do you need to implement accessibility features on your website?
We specialize in building disability-friendly websites.
We geek out on ADA compliance and can meet your needs.
Please fill out this form so we can explore the best path moving forward for your business.
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