The ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most comprehensive civil rights legislation pieces. Chances are you’re familiar with the physical accommodations commercial spaces make, such as wheelchair ramps and door openers. However, did you know that ADA also applies to the virtual world or ada compliance for website?
Sites are required by the law to be just as accessible as elevators, terminals, ATMs, etc. Your website should not just be accessible to all on a desktop or laptop, but ideally on smartphones and tablets. Having a non-ADA compliant site creates poor experiences for individuals with physical disabilities. In simple terms, ADA compliance assures your site falls within the prescribed accessibility standards.
Keep in mind that not everyone uses browsers like Firefox and Chrome, and many use varying devices to gain access to this information like audio scanners and text readers. Such tools require special instructions to help translate ad convey the information on your pages.
Look for an ADA Agency
Ask web developers about ADA compliance, and you are likely to get a blank stare. So, you’ll want to look for an agency working with the web framework or platform you use and inquire about their development workflow, particularly how they address accessibility. From here, you can embark on vetting agencies for their experience with ADA compliance.
For instance, if you own an eCommerce website, you should look for an agency that specializes in this platform. You should ideally aim for agencies with experience in the best tools for assessing a website’s accessibility.
Audit Your Code
One of the most critical steps in ensuring your site is ADA compliant is running an audit on your code. There are tools that crawl your website and identify all the sections that don’t meet ADA compliance accessibility standards. The results will give you a clear picture of the work needed so that you can weigh the benefits, budget, and plan for the timeframe properly. Who knows, you might even find that your website is already compliant, particularly if it runs on a progressive platform and implemented ideal coding practices during site development.
The cost will certainly depend on the type of platform your site is on, server set up as well as the tools involved. Every website configuration has different ramifications so, keep that in mind.
Make the Site Features Logical
A site that’s ADA compliant needs to be comprehensible to a wide audience. It should run predictably and have helpful labels over media and content blocks. For instance, put a clear ‘X” in the right upper corner of a pop-up window to clearly show users how to close it. Your website should be developed in a manner that avoids user errors.
Make it Keyboard & Pause Friendly
The chief role of the ‘operable’ section of ADA criteria is to make sure your website can be operated with just a keyboard. Not everyone is able to use a mouse or touchscreen. This is a category that ideally covers overall navigation. For example, people should be able to slow down or pause automatic slideshow and scrolling movements. Remove any videos that have a time-limit or autoplay and also ensure that video interactions can be done with the keyboard.
Stay Up to Date on ADA Compliance Changes
ADA needs always change. As new technologies emerge for the disabled, their needs have to be accounted for in your site code. An excellent start is ensuring that the code functions with assistive readers, and the text is easily readable. An indeed ADA compliant site, however, will adopt the best practices as they come to life.