Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance is a set of standards for accommodating employees with disabilities and ensuring that they are able to perform their essential job functions. It’s not just about ramp access or special parking spots — it’s a philosophy that challenges employers to think creatively about the needs of their employees with disabilities.
Though it’s been nearly 25 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act passed, many websites and mobile applications still aren’t ADA compliant. Why? The vast majority of websites and mobile applications fail to meet ADA standards, putting organizations at risk of losing customers and becoming a target of expensive lawsuits.
In this post, we will outline five key areas of your website that may be inaccessible to visitors with disabilities and provide tips on how to fix them.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities. The ADA outlines requirements for businesses to make sure their services are accessible to people with disabilities. This includes websites, which must be accessible by people who use assistive technology. One in five people have a disability, so it’s important that all businesses are compliant with ADA standards. The ADA has five general requirements for websites:
ADA compliance is comprised of a vast set of requirements provided by the W3C to help individuals and organizations adhere to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). There are several layers of guidance provided by the W3C to meet the diverse demands of this audience, including overall principles, general guidelines, testable success criteria, and a rich assortment of sufficient methods, advisory procedures, and documented common failures with examples, resource links, and code.
Although some organizations have sophisticated resources to interpret and implement ADA compliant websites and applications, many organizations need the help of experts like Agency 39A to manage and implement these important accommodations.
Text Size: Text on your website should be large enough to be read by someone with low vision.
Color Contrast: Text and images on your site should have enough contrast between them so that someone with low vision can read it.
Audio and Video: If you include audio or video on your site, you’ll need to provide an audio or text transcript as well.
Navigation: Your navigation elements (e.g. links and tabs) should be keyboard accessible. You can also add a sitemap to your website so people can easily navigate your site.
Computer Interfaces: Websites that provide online services (e.g. online banking and shopping) must provide accessibility options and be compliant with accessibility standards.
Visually Impaired: If you’re adding images to your site, make sure you’re not violating copyright law.
Audio/Visual Content: If you’re creating audio content or video content, make sure that you’re providing an audio or text transcript as well.
Audio Controls: If you include audio on your website, make sure that your audio controls are visible and easy to locate.
Captions: If you’re creating video content, make sure that it’s captioned.
Keyboard Navigation: All functionality on your site should be accessible via a keyboard. This includes navigation and filling out forms.
Screen Reader Compatibility: Make sure your site is compatible with screen reader software.
Touch Navigation: Make sure your site can be navigated via touch screen.
Assistive Technology: Make sure that all functionality that’s available on your site is also available on the functionality of an assistive technology device.
A website is often the first interaction between your company and users. If it’s not accessible to everyone, you’re losing out on potential customers and sales while opening yourself to legal action. Adhering to the ADA is a must for all businesses that want to stay in compliance with legal requirements, such as those described in the ADA.
With Agency 39A, you can easily adopt digital inclusion and streamline accessibility. Our audit of your website will discover accessibility gaps, while our usability testing will ensure that your website has a proper user experience.