Have you heard of ADA website compliance, or possibly website accessibility? There is a good chance that you have but maybe you don’t know exactly what it is.
This ADA website compliance blog will help clear up any questions you may have about website accessibility.
What is ADA Website Compliance
ADA stands for US Americans with Disabilities Act. This law provides people with disabilities equal and fair access to employment, housing, employment, transportation, which includes allowing them access to online business websites.
Those Who Are Covered By The Americans With Disabilities Act?
There are several types of disabilities you need to consider when designing a website that is accessible to all. Worldwide there are over one billion people that have some sort of disability. Some of these disabilities include:
- Those with limited movement
- People with speech disabilities
- Some of the neurological types of limitations such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- Those that have low vision, near blindness, and blindness
- People that have some hearing loss and deafness
By making your website more accessible to all users including those with disabilities you will stand out from your competition and gain more consumers. You widen your reach with all audiences when you build an accessible website for all. Those with disabilities globally have over 6 trillion dollars worth of spending power. A large percentage of these disabled people will search out sites and spend their money with those companies that have ADA-compliant sites.
Who Needs to have an ADA Compliant website.
If you have an online business it’s a best practice to accommodate all your potential customers and existing customers. Almost all businesses now need to follow the ADA website compliance guidelines such as:
- Private businesses with 15 plus employees
- Charities and nonprofit businesses with 15 plus employees
- State governments
- Local movements
- Public businesses
- Most all online businesses
ADA Website Accessibility Guidelines
You can view info on ADA Website compliance the H.R.620 – ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 at this link. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/620
You can also view the website guidelines ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments at https://www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap5toolkit.htm
How to Build and Make Your Website ADA Compliant
Review your website to make and make the necessary fixes and changes to make your website accessible to all.
Review the ADA Website Accessibility Guidelines.
Descriptive HTML tags should be added to all online forms.
Buttons that are call-to-action links on your website should have accessible names.
Videos and Audio files and should have written titles, subtitles, transcripts, captions, and audio descriptions.
Make sure your website has good color contrast, simple and easy to read according to website guidelines.
All fronts should be easy for all to read.
Your contact information should be easy to find and easy to read.
All website navigation should be easy to find as well last easy to read.
You need a website accessibility policy.
All images should have alternative text, title, caption, and easy-to-read descriptions.
Guidelines for Captions and Alt-Tags for Images
WordPress contains a number of ways to add text to an image. They are:
- Alternative Text
Alternative Text is the most important section for Accessibility purposes. This is where, for those who are unable to see the image, a screen reader will describe the image to them. That means this text needs to fully describe the image. If a description requires more than 30 words, it is best suited for a caption with the Alt Text giving a very brief description and referencing the caption instead.
Titles are what someone would see if they placed their mouse over the image. These should be just a few words that help identify the image.
Captions are where the clarifying text goes to accompany the image, typically under the image in most WordPress themes. These words will be seen by everyone.
Descriptions are for use on the backend of WordPress. They can be viewed in the media library and can help with sorting, but are not seen by end-users.
For this example image, the text should be as follows:
Alt-text: Photo of man seated at desk smiling at a laptop computer for Sprout Digital Vancouver Washington
Title: Happy man with computer
Caption: (very page defendant) Let Sprout Digital simplify your online experience so you can go back to enjoying the internet
Description: Sprout Digital stock image for use on a blog page
Can I Be Sued for My Website Not Being ADA Compliant?
That answer is yes. If your website in not ADA Compliant you can be sued. You need to take the above steps and view the links to make sure your website is following the current federal guidelines. Most business owners and managers are not aware of this law and some are just now starting to become aware of the ADA Compliant issues they need to take care of.
ADA is known as a no-fault stature which means your ignorance of the requirements is not an acceptable excuse in the eyes of the law. You can be sued for not having your website up to date with the ADA Web Compliant laws.
Sprout Digital will be glad to help you redesign and update your website so that it is ADA compliant. If you have questions or need help with a new website design and setting up an ADA compliant website. call Sprout Digital today at 888-217-9502 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org