Now more than ever, businesses need to take inclusion into account. More businesses have become ADA compliant and it’s extending out to the digital world. It’s important to ensure your website is ADA compliant to defend your business against potential lawsuits or fines for non-compliance. Not only that, but you also want to make sure you’re inclusive of everyone with disabilities. They access the web and can make purchasing decisions, as well.
The Americans with Disabilities (ADA) requires businesses to adjust and integrate accommodations for those with disabilities. Digital content needs to be accessible to the blind, and deaf. If businesses fail to maintain an ADA-compliant website will be subject to punishment.
ADA Compliance and Inclusion: Who is Required to Comply?
If you’re a business with at least 15 full-time employees and is operational for more than 20 weeks (about 4 and a half months) a year is covered and required to comply. Also, if you’re a business that falls into public accommodation, like a bank or hotel, you’re required to comply. That means, not only physical locations need to be compliant, but your digital content falls under the law as well. So, your website needs to be compliant with all ADA regulations.
ADA Compliance and Inclusion: Website Access Standards
As of now, the ADA’s website guidelines aren’t clear. So, how do you develop an ADA-approved website without any clear directions? A functional website with users who have disabilities in mind is a necessity. Here are a few steps you can take to build a great ADA compliant website:
1. Review Website Content Accessibility Guidelines
The WCAG will offer suggestions and a roadmap to follow to ensure your website is accessible. Reading through these guidelines is a great place to start.
2. Content Audit Your Site
Conduct an audit of your website using accessibility tools. There are also several browser plug-ins you can use to look for issues, such as alt-tags.
Alt-tags should be descriptive of the image and accurately describe an image for someone who is vision-impaired. Screen readers and voice tools will describe to the user what’s on the page according to these alt-tags.
4. Keyboard Navigation
Keyboard navigation is often overlooked. However, some users may not be able to manipulate a mouse to navigate your website. It is important to offer alternative methods to utilize your website and your services. Did you know that a survey from AccessiBe found over 90% of a website’s menu can’t be accessed by disabled users? Using keyboard navigation, such as ‘Enter’ to access dropdown menus allows those users to access your key website pages.
5. Review All Styles and Components
If your site utilizes small fonts on lighter backgrounds, text may be unreadable. It’s recommended to increase the font size or increase contrast to improve readability.
6. Incorporate Content Writing Best Practices
Follow the KISS rule. Keep it simple silly. Content should be more of a conversation and use sub-headlines to break out content into easily digestible pieces. Use periods for acronyms to assist the screen readers’ pronunciations.
7. Code Audit
8. Audio/Video Content
Audio content should be transcribed for the hearing impaired. Video should include closed-captioning – or the option to turn on CC.
Want to make sure your website is compliant, get the low down on ADA compliance and download our guide today.
Greenstar Marketing: Helping You Get ADA Compliant
Although the website enforcement of the ADA is up in the air, it’s far better to be proactive than reactive, which will save you the headaches of lawsuits and fines. The team at GreenStar Marketing will ensure your website is fully ADA-compliant, whether it’s analyzing your current website or developing a new one from scratch. Contact us today.