Creating an accessible website is no longer a mere recommendation instead, it has turned into an obligation that needs to be fulfilled to stay afloat and avoid legal consequences. Besides, understanding ADA requirements and subsequently acting upon them to craft an ADA-compliant website will help you seize success, maybe not immediately but definitely.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was legislated in 1990. You might be wondering, the then web wasn’t as common as it is now, then how come we keep on hearing lawsuits of accessibility discriminations?
With the increasing use of the internet, websites have evolved as a zone for public accommodation. Witnessing its increasing pass, it wouldn’t be entirely wrong to bracket its accessibility under basic human rights.
Ensuring web accessibility for law firms and other businesses helps promote equality by accommodating the needs of all potential customers and protect your business against lawsuits and fines.
Are There Any Specific Regulations For ADA Accessibility Requirements?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. There isn’t any explicit ADA regulation to specify what sort of website gets along with the tribunal enactment. Thus, it can be difficult to find ADA requirements. However, this nowhere means businesses shouldn’t imply them.
Compliance with ADA is a strict liability; therefore, there is no room for errors. In addition, it is now a legal provision to make a website accessible to individuals with impairments. So, if you want to ensure your compliance with ADA, what should you do?
As stated, there isn’t a clear definition or designated criteria, but by obeying a few easy rules, you might get on track and cruise toward ADA website compliance.
WCAG, The Way Out. But What’s WCAG?
There are certain guidelines for web accessibility remediation moulded by the Web Accessibility Initiative of W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium. W3C is the leading global standards association for the World Wide Web.
Because the ADA does not specify any particular website specifications, most businesses adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Although this isn’t a legal obligation, tribunals frequently refer to it as the established standards.
In addition, the Section 508 Standards Guidelines have been revised to align web accessibility needs with WCAG 2.0. And, if we look at recent Title III website actions or lawsuits, the implication is evident: establishing or remediating your website in accordance with WCAG 2.0 AA is the best approach.
Here 2.0 is the second version of the accessibility guidelines generally referred to by tribunals, while AA implies meeting the target level, agreeing with legal requirements.
A Simplified ADA Compliance Website Checklist: Concerning WCAG 2.0
In order to have a detailed idea about the requirements for web accessibility remediation, here’s our concise compliance checklist. However, note that the list does include things required for remediating, but it certainly isn’t limited to it.
Perceivable implies presenting information in a way that’s easy to perceive for the user. Here’s what you can do to ensure your website is perceivable.
- Text alternative: providing text alternatives for the non-textual content is a great way to ensure your website is perceivable even for those with speaking or hearing disabilities.
- Time-based media: when we speak of time-based media, we provide other ways to perceive or comprehend the presented data. This could be done by providing audio, video, or sign language interpreter alternatives. By presenting them right below your original content, you can ensure your website is easily perceivable even by persons with a disability.
- Adaptable: the structure, information or the layout of the content should be programmatically presented. That is in a meaningful order so that the data presented is adaptable or readable.
- Distinguishable: considering the visual means is also a way to improve the perceivability. Therefore, focusing on minute details like colour, image resolutions, contrast and more is important.
When we speak of operability, it implies ensuring the interface presented to the user is easy to navigate or operate. Here’s what you can do to ensure your website interface is operable.
- Keyboard accessible: ensuring that everything on your website is operable with a keyboard only could make things easy for a user while boosting your compliance score.
- Enough time: one must ensure that their website facilitates enough time for the user to move, scroll, adjust and extend the interface as per their need. This also includes ensuring that users don’t lose their data after the session expires.
- Navigable: ensuring the interface presented is navigable enough is also important. The logical, meaningful, and sequential navigation order is more effective than an abrupt one.
Understandability refers to ensuring the content presented is easy to comprehend. Here’s what you should focus on to ensure better understandability.
- Readability: keeping readability in check is imperative for ensuring your content is well comprehended. Using simple literature and breaking down the content into multiple sections can help you improve the readability.
- Predictable: create landing pages that operate in predictable ways. Ensuring the navigation and component functionality is consistent across your website helps improve the user experience.
- Input assistance: Input assistance helps users avoid and correct mistakes, especially when filling out forms. This technique provides them with clear instructions and a chance to check information before submitting it.
It signifies that the content presented should be robust so that various users, including assistive technologies, can decrypt it. Here’s what you can do to ensure your website content is robust enough.
- Compatible: ensuring the element listed right from start to end tags is properly nested can help you make your content robust and easily accessible for both humans and humanoids.
Regardless of the size of your website and the industry you function in, creating an ADA compliant website is extremely important. Failing to do so could make it difficult for you to stay afloat and fetch in legal complications leading to penalties.
Just the way it’s important to have an ADA compliant website, it’s also important to have the right team of professionals to get the work done. So, ensure you adopt every possible means to have a suitable and reliable one on board for help. The experts perform web accessibility audit and provide solutions to make your digital properties fully accessible.