The Importance of ADA Compliance
These days, most people are familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how it applies to the real world. The ADA protects people with disabilities against discrimination from employers, businesses, and public accommodations—but did you know that it also applies to the internet?
Since 2010, websites must adhere to the ADA Standards for Accessible Design by providing an experience that does not exclude those living with impairments. Without meeting these requirements, you could be excluding up to 25% of your visitors and even put yourself at risk of legal action, which is why we would like to cover some of the important ways you can make your website more inclusive.
How Do Disabilities Affect Web Browsing?
No matter what type of industry you are representing, you are bound to attract leads from people from many different walks of life. This, of course, includes people living with disabilities. Some of the common conditions that can affect an individual’s web browsing include visual impairment, cognitive disabilities, hearing impairment, motor impairment, and epilepsy. Many of the people living with these disabilities will use tools, such as text-to-speech readers, in order to help them navigate your website, which is why it is essential to do your part in offering accessible web design.
How Can You Ensure ADA Compliance?
Although there is no definitive outline of what constitutes an accessible website, the most common recommendation is to adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. These guidelines cover a wide range of recommendations on how to make your web content more useable to those with disabilities as well as users in general.
This document goes quite in-depth on the content it covers but can be broken down into four core principles:
Any content or information on your website should be perceivable by anyone that visits it, including text, images, videos, and more. You should provide alternatives to all of your website information that allows anyone to access it. This includes things such as adding captions to videos and providing alt text which describes the images on your website.
You want all of your potential leads to be able to navigate your website properly. For example, your user interface components should be operable through a keyboard without any specific timing required and should not include any content that is known to cause seizures, such as flashing icons or clips.
Anything on your website, such as links and buttons, should be easily understandable to the user. Avoid using abbreviations with the writing on your website, make sure your website operates in a predictable way, and help users avoid errors when possible.
This means that the content of your website should be able to be interpreted reliably by all of your users, even if they are using assertive technologies. For instance, if a visitor to your website is using text-to-speech software, they should still be able to access all of your information and navigate reliability.
Auditing Your Current Website
This may seem like a lot to keep track of, but making sure your website is ADA compliant is something that should be considered by businesses and public organizations of all sizes. The best way to ensure you are providing inclusive online content is to work with a web design company that is experienced and well-versed in creating ADA-compliant websites. If you would like to get a better understanding of how your website stacks up and the steps you can take to improve it, we encourage you to contact the experts at LinkNow Media.Share: