There’s no reason why everyone shouldn’t be able to interact with your website.
That’s why having an ADA Compliant website is a must for your 2020 website. Web content should be accessible to the blind, deaf, and those who must navigate by voice, screen readers or other assistive technologies.
Although the ADA does not mention specific web accessibility standards, the Department of Justice has acknowledged that under Title III of the ADA, places of public accommodation must either ensure their websites are accessible or provide “an accessible alternative.”
This article from Business News Daily breaks things down nicely. It leads with these points:
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires certain businesses to make accommodations for people with disabilities.
- Businesses that fall under Title I, those that operate 20 or more weeks per year with at least 15 full-time employees, or Title III, those that fall under the category of “public accommodation,” are covered by the ADA.
- There are no clear regulations defining website accessibility.
- Failure to create an ADA-compliant website could open a business to lawsuits, financial liabilities and damage to your brand reputation.
As it should be, this is a very important topic – which means you may be seeing a lot of “enticing” advertising for this must-have service – “Avoid a lawsuit!,” “You’re missing out on a demographic!,” “You could be increasing your sales!”
We follow best practices for accessibility – at no extra cost. However, if your site needs to meet higher guidelines, we recommend hiring an expert.
It is important to mention that there are multiple levels of compliance, and there are many legitimate companies that are the real deal and will offer a great service as well as advanced accessibility (AAA). Our websites are built to the requirements of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, Level AA, which has been recognized as an international standard since 2018. If you would like to learn more about the different levels – A, AA, and AAA, read this article on the Essential Accessibility website.
Some of the things that go into creating an Accessible website include:
- Adding properly descriptive alt tags to all images, videos, and audio files
- Creating a consistent, organized layout
- Making sure all clickable items can be accessed by tabbing through the site
- Keeping colors at the proper contrast ratio
- Building the site with proper site structure – Proper use and hierarchy of H1, H2, H3 tags, bullets, content, etc.
- Making sure all links are descriptive. “Read More” or “Click Here” are not descriptive.
From the aforementioned Business News Daily article:
While ADA website compliance is a bit subjective and open to interpretation, it’s not too difficult to discern what is meant by “reasonable accessibility.” By making a good-faith effort to achieve reasonable accessibility for users with disabilities now, businesses can get ahead of the regulatory curve in developing a compliant website and avoid potential lawsuits. Moreover, designing a compliant website can lead to more sales and better ranking on search engines for a modest investment.
Let us help you modernize your website and get it up to 2020 standards, while improving accessibility for everyone! If you would just like to know if your site is up to ADA compliance, we would be happy to perform a free audit. 🙂