Does Your Website Need to Be ADA Compliant?
Here's the Quick Answer...
Making sure your website is ADA compliant is good for your visitors and increases the size of your audience. It may even help you avoid future legal issues.
Let's find out if your website is ADA compliant and what you can do if it isn't.
What is ADA Compliance?
The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, is a civil rights law that helps protects individuals with disabilities from being discriminated against. So, and ADA complaint website is one that is easily accessible to people with disabilities. Visual impairments, hearing, mobility, and other challenges need to be accommodated so that a website is easy to navigate by anyone.
Is ADA Compliance Required for All Websites?
Most people want their websites compliant because they believe it's just the right thing to do. Since a website is usually a public document….everyone should probably have equal access to your message and the information on your site, regardless of their abilities.
Also, making your website ADA compliant can improve your search engine rankings. That's because Google favors websites that are easily accessible to more users. So, ADA compliance is kind of an SEO tactic as well.
And from another business standpoint, making your website ADA compliant may even help you avoid legal issues and/or costly lawsuits.
How Do You Fix a Website that is Not ADA Compliant?
First you need to perform an audit of your site to identify any accessibility issues that may exist. There are lots of tools available that can help. For example, The Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (or WAVE for short) at this website: https://wave.webaim.org/ performs an audit when you provide your web address.
Now, once you've found any issues on your site, the next step is to fix them.
Some of these changes are pretty simple - but time consuming. You will mostly be making changes to your website's code, adding alt tags to images, providing captions for videos, and making sure that your website menus and links are easy to navigate using just a keyboard.
Here's a list of the SEVEN most common things you can do to make sure your site is ADA Compliant:
Use proper headings and tags: Headings and tags, such as H1, H2, and H3 tags, help screen readers that are used by folks with visual impairments understand the content on your website better.
Add alt tags to images: An alt is a short text description of an image that is displayed if the image cannot be displayed. This is important for users with visual impairments, as they rely on screen readers to interpret the content on the website. Every image on your website should use the alt tag.
Provide captions for videos: Like alt text for images, captions provide a text version of the audio content in videos…. Just like the one you are watching now. This allows users with hearing issues to access the content of the video. YouTube makes this easy by allowing you to turn on the captions featrure for the videos you upload.
Is your website is keyboard-friendly: Many users with mobility impairments rely on a keyboard to navigate websites. Your site should have proper focus indicators and ensuring that all interactive elements, such as buttons and links, can be accessed with a keyboard. If you use WordPress as your design platform, there are plugins such as WP Accessibility that help solve this issue.
Your site needs proper color contrast to be ADA compliant: Users with visual impairments may have difficulty reading text on a low contrast background. So make sure to use high contrast colors for text and backgrounds.
Your website links to other pages or even other websites should always be descriptive and clearly indicate where link takes the user. Just simple "CLICK HERE" might not be good enough. Instead think of text links that describe the link's destination. Frankly, this is better web design practice anyway . It helps all your visitors - whether they are dealing with impairments or not.
Make sure the language or the wording on your website is clear and easy to understand. Avoiding jargon or overly technical terms that may be confusing to some users. And again, this is better design practice anyway. Good clear communication just makes sense.
These are the seven major areas of ADA compliance and addressing them will help make your site perform better and reach a larger audience.
Making sure that your website is ADA compliant is not only the right thing to do, it can also benefit your website message and improve its search engine rankings.
If you need more information or help with ADA compliance or want to learn more about managing your websites and doing business online, subscribe to our YouTube channel or visit https://dotcomclassroom.com