Accessibility advocates continue to work overtime to try to make as many websites compliant as they possibly can. Of course, it is a tremendous challenge, and many individuals have been severely disappointed when they discovered just how many websites are sorely lacking in ADA compliance. Of course, knowledge is power, and the more clients that you educate on ADA compliance, the more websites that will be accessible and easier for people from all walks of life to use. Here is what you need to know:
How can you tell if a website is not ADA compliant? Sometimes the only way this can be accomplished is through just taking a wait-and-see approach. If a website is not accommodating the ADA, then sooner or later the website will receive a complaint from a law firm from a plaintiff who wasn’t about to use it. Of course, even though the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed three decades ago and didn’t allow for websites, these elements are now covered through an addendum called Section 508. Basically, this means that any website that is involved with the government must be ADA compliant. This would include universities too because they process government loans. Websites must all do their part to support an inclusive design, simply because it’s the law.
Why Is ADA Compliance Important For Websites?
Part of the reason why ADA Compliance is important for a website is that there is the possibility of liability issues if the website doesn’t meet at least four principles: being perceivable, being operable, being understandable, and that it is robust. In a nutshell, the website nutshell has to be accessible for blind or deaf individuals; those with cognition and learning disabilities; those with behavioral, emotional, or temporary anxiety; and those with permanent or temporary diseases or injuries.
What do Clients Need to Know About ADA Compliance?
First of all, our clients simply need to know some of the beginning steps regarding an accessible website. They should start by focusing on such things as the navigation, forms, the images and galleries, maps and illustrative graphs, the text layout, and fonts, and the basic organization and the structure. Of course, if you are looking for an easy way to perform all of these steps, there is plenty of ADA website compliance software available on the market today.
Follow the Basic Accessibility Checklist
Much like SEO, your job is never done when it comes to making your website ADA compliant. However, there are certain steps that can go a long way. When you are utilizing the use of color, you should avoid using that as just the only cue. That is, you should make sure that the required fields shouldn’t be in red or some other given color because some people cannot see colors. Of course, the text should never be in light gray either.
You also should ensure that links are distinguishable from the non-link text, and you should never use the term “click here” for your links.
Finally, here are some content structure suggestions. You should have a title for every page, an H1 heading, consecutive titles, a source page with a valid title, and text that is readable and easy to see. Make sure that the text can be magnified on mobile devices as well.
This is just the beginning, but if you keep these and other tips in mind you are well on your way to having an ADA-compliant website.