As a business owner or company, you may have come across the term “ADA compliant,” but may not fully understand what it means and how to properly ensure that your business website passes the test.
At KWSM: a web marketing agency we specialize in making sites ADA compliant. In this article, I will provide you with the layman’s terms of what ADA compliance means and provide you with some resources to help get your website compliance project started.
What is ADA Compliance?
The U.S. Department of Justice published the Standards of Accessible Design in September 2010 to make the web more accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.
Check how your website currently performs against the ADA standard using the Lighthouse Audit For Compliance.
What Does ADA Compliance Affect on My Website?
ADA compliance will ask that you revisit all natural information such as text, images, and sounds and code or markup that defines the structure, presentation, etc.
For example, people who are blind use assistive technology such as screen reader software (which reads the contents of the page out loud). Your role is to ensure that your text is readable by their assistive technology and that all your website’s images have clear alt-tags to not interrupt their experience. Another example would be a person who is hearing impaired; most of the web is accessible for people with hearing impairment, except for video and audio content. So, for those media types, we need to provide a text alternative, such as captioning or transcription.
When you begin to study all the different resources, such as the HTML 508 Checklist, you will understand how deep the accessible design requirements go. If you are a business that needs to be ADA compliant, your website needs to become accessible for all disabilities – deafness, blindness, mobility impairments, cognitive disabilities (such as dyslexia) etc.
What Organizations Need to Be ADA Compliant?
Organizations that need to adhere to the ADA standards are classified as commercial and public entities that benefit the public. The ADA standards apply to all electronic information and online technology this organization has and requires them, by law, to make them ‘accessible technology’ to people with disabilities.
Note: Even if you are not legally obligated to make your website as accessible as possible, we still encourage you to keep these requirements in mind as it’s just the right thing to do!
Benefits of Becoming an ADA Compliant Website
Businesses and companies can comply with the ADA by auditing their own accessibility performance standards on their websites and make changes accordingly. While it is not enforced, if your organization does decide to put in the resources to become ADA compliant, you will quickly see added benefits. The changes inspired by that this ends up making your website more useful to all of your users, not just those with disabilities. As a result, making your website better at converting your customers!
Resources to Start Your ADA Compliance Project
Our team has worked on numerous websites to make them ADA compliant, whether they are required by law or not. If you plan to work on your own ADA compliance project, we highly recommend using the resources below to help get you started.
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (also known as the WCAG) is a clear blueprint of how to make your website ADA compliant.
- Lighthouse Audit For Compliance: Lighthouse is an open-source project by Google that gives you a way to measure web page performance against all sorts of criteria, including some ADA requirements.
- Accessibility of Websites PDF: ADA Compliance overview provided by the U.S. Department of Justice.
- HTML 508 Checklist: This HTML checklist is based on the WCAG requirements, just formatted easier so you know if any are marked as ‘No,’ then the site is not 508 compliant.
- Making Files Accessible Checklist: When making an ADA compliant site you need to ensure all the files you link to from your site also meet the accessibility standards. This checklist will help you adjust files into a compliant format.
- Color Contrast Checker: Color contrast allows those with color blindness and other disabilities of sight to read your content with ease. This checker allows you to input foreground and background color values and returns a readability rating.
If you run into any questions or would like our help to make your website ADA compliant, please contact us.
57 Million Americans Have a Disability Mentioned In This Blog
Is your website compliant to help these people see, hear, and access your business information? We have a very talented team of web designers who will be able to optimize your website so it becomes accessible for all.
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