Everything you need to know about ADA website compliance
If you are a business owner, you are probably already somewhat familiar with ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act. Enacted by Congress in 1990, the ADA was designed to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. One provision of the ADA, specifically Title III, requires businesses and nonprofit service providers to make accommodations to ensure that disabled persons have access to the same services that clients without disabilities can access. Given the fact that so many of us now rely on the Internet for shopping, banking, and social interactions, it makes sense that the U.S. Department of Justice has determined that this includes access to websites and electronic media. So how does this affect your business? Could a non-ADA compliant website put you at risk of lawsuits? To help business owners understand their responsibilities, we’re providing a quick overview of the most important facts about ADA website compliance.
What makes a website ADA compliant?
Individuals with visual, hearing, or other disabilities can sometimes have difficulty accessing all the features on a website. By adjusting certain elements and making some changes, such as providing text alternatives for visual elements, simpler layouts, and alternatives for time-based media, businesses can make their sites more easily accessible to all.
Does my website need to be ADA compliant?
As of right now, only companies with 15 or more employees, government agencies, and contractors are legally bound to have websites that comply with the ADA. The DOJ has indicated that it will be making an official rule sometime in the future that will determine if the requirement applies to all websites. If the recent rulings in lawsuits across the country are any indication, businesses should start preparing now to make their websites ADA compliant.
Why making your website ADA compliant is a good idea
Even if your business isn’t required to have an ADA compliant website at the moment, adjusting your website so that ALL your customers can access it just makes good sense. Why wouldn’t you want to make an essential part of your business available to potential customers?
Making your website universally accessible can also serve you well as technology evolves, as these accommodations make your website easier to access on smaller screens and different types of devices. It’s the right thing to do, for your business, your customers, and your community.
How can I tell if my website is ADA compliant?
There are a number of free tools available online that will let you know if you have an ADA compliant website, or you can have a website design agency perform a compliance check.
Where can I find a list of guidelines for making my website ADA compliant?
W3C provides a free, detailed list of ADA compliance guidelines broken down into clear, easy to understand directives. They fall into four main sections, Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. To give you an idea of the guidelines, here is a quick list of some ADA compliancy tips:
- Make your website easily accessible through text
- Attach alt tags to images and photos, for text only access
- Make text resizable without scrolling side to side
- Allow users to switch to a high contrast mode
- Make all functionality accessible through a keyboard
- Provide transcripts for videos
- Don’t use rapidly blinking or strobing images
- Provide alternatives for time-based media
Don’t let a non-ADA compliant website put your business at risk. Blue Interactive Agency is now offering free ADA compliance assessments. We’ll assess your website and identify any elements that are not ADA compliant. We’ll create a plan to bring your website into line with current ADA compliance guidelines, while providing you with an attractive, highly effective website design that will present your business in the best light to ALL your potential customers. Our dedicated staff includes expert web designers, graphic artists, SEO copywriters, and skilled social marketers, all ready to create a winning website design for your business.
Contact us at Blue Interactive Agency today at 954-613-2476 to find out what you need to protect your business with an ADA compliant website today!