Ways To Make Sure Your Website is ADA Compliant
Stephen Romero - October 30, 2021
A failure to make a commercial website ADA compliant can lead to serious legal consequences. In this digital landscape, it has become crucial to have a website and no matter how big or small your business is, having a digital space is now a requirement to be in business. Paying a website developer to create a nice-looking, seamless website is not adequate. Web accessibility standards should also be considered in the design because according to a report more than 40 million people, which equals to 13% of the adult US population, have some sort a disability. To make your website accessible to this population, you might want to use a website ADA compliance checker.
To make the technology accessible and to prevent the risk of getting sued, you need to make sure that that your website is ADA compliant. In this post, we will explain the factors of why lots of business owners are getting sued lately and how to use an ADA website compliance checker to steer clear of the legal penalties.
How to define web accessibility standards?
The accessibility factors for a disabled person entering into a physical space refer to the provisions of ramps, stairs and elevators. Similarly, when a disabled person is using technology, they should be able to access the content of a website, app or any digital product, just like everyone else. The American Disability Act was established by the Department of Justice in 1990. It prohibits discrimination and confirms the web as a public space, meaning if a disabled person is unable to access or engage with your website, it viewed as discriminatory and is against the law.
This simply means, if you are on the web, you abide by the American law to make your website accessible for people with all kinds of impairments. Examples of design barriers for digital platforms are segregated based on different kinds of disabilities. Take a look:
Someone with a mild vision loss to total blindness falls under this category. The design standards that make your website accessible are braille readers, high contrast design, keyboard support and options to enlarge the text size. You also need your website to compatible with screen readers.
People with hearing loss or deafness need to be able to access your website. For this purpose, you can either use features like media players with captions. In case your website has illegible text you can check it with help of a website ADA compliance checker to find the problem areas before getting penalized for the legal violations.
In case someone is paralyzed or accessing the web content with a missing limb, then full keyboard support or unique features like eye-tracking or voice recognition are important.
A wide range of neurological, mental and behavioural disorders fall into this category. Accessing a webpage is very difficult for people dealing with such issues. The underlying reason behind most businesses getting sued is that their websites either have complex navigations or fail to provide clearly structured pieces of content.
Where to start with website ADA compliance?
Most businesses rely on automated software scans. These ADA compliant website checker tools are a great way to identify the problem areas. But the question arises, despite these tools why so many lawsuits are filled every year? The underlying reason is such tools don’t guarantee you sufficient compliance. So what should be done? Well, here are few simple ways to ensure that you keep the lawsuits at bay.
To adopt a compliant approach, consider few accessibility standards recommended by design experts. For instance:
- Alt tags for images
- Straightforward call to action
- Best practices for color contrast
Aim for WCAG 2.1
There are multiple styles and elements included in a website design. To play safe, you can even follow the accessibility standards defined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). The norms incorporate factors to make digital content operable, robust, and easily understandable.
The aim is to make your website easy to understand and responsive so that anyone with an impairment can access it effortlessly.
Features such as search bars, screen reading software, minimized broken link errors, keyboard support navigation and chat boxes help complying with the WCAG 2.1 Guidelines.
To limit the guesswork, you can take the help of ADA Website Compliance Checker tools. There are automated plugins and paid software available to eliminate the possible accessibility blunders. However, you can’t solely rely on such plugins or software scans, as these are not magical wands to overcome the accessibility issues. You may also want to get professional help.
Automated software scans are great to find broken links and obvious design faults. But this limits to only 30% to 40% accuracy. To ensure that your website is 100% ADA compliant, in-depth manual edits done by certified professionals are essential. A mix of software scans and manual audits are often recommended because tools are not much effective to find accessibility issues related to cognitive impairment. For behavioural accessibility, human skills are needed. Rather than hiring a legal team to fight in the court, it’s better that you start looking for a trusted professional who can conduct manual audits for ADA compliance.
ADA compliance is good for your business. It protects you against lawsuits and sufficiently accessible websites also rank higher in the SEO race. The straightforward fixes can be done by yourself. For more complex issues, explore the automated reviewing options of ADA Compliant Website Checker along with professional accessibility audits.
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