Home Business How to Make Sure Your Website Is ADA-Compliant

How to Make Sure Your Website Is ADA-Compliant

by Olufisayo
ada-compliance-websites

There are several different pieces of legislation that were passed in the last decade to help both regulate and improve the way that websites work for the public. Just last year, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) laws were passed in Europe, which helps to regulate how private information is used in marketing, for example.

In addition, today, all websites need a clear cookies policy on their website, and users must accept the parameters of this before entering the site. Both of these policies were implemented by the government to help protect and improve how the Internet is used in our day to day life.

In addition to these, you may have also heard of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), which was implemented to improve how websites work for people with disabilities. This includes those that are blind or deaf, as well as people who use voice control systems to use the Internet.

What companies need to comply?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is generally associated with making the physical location of business accessible to those with disabilities. This may include adding braille to any important information that needs to be read, or installing wheelchair-friendly entrances, for example. This is necessary for two key types of companies.

The first is Title I, which includes all companies that are open for over 20 weeks throughout the year and that have a minimum of fifteen full-time employed staff. The second type of company that needs to comply are those that fall under Title III, and covers companies that are seen as a public accommodation under the guidelines.

       

What needs to be done online?

ADA website compliance isn’t black and white, and there are no specific guidelines on what needs to be implemented to ensure that businesses aren’t liable. The risks of not complying are very clear, though. If a website is seen to not meet the criteria of the ADA, then it’s at risk of being sued and can bring in negative PR if not dealt with correctly.

The key thing to strive toward creating an ADA-compliant website is to ensure that it’s accessible to those people covered in the act. This includes people with sight and hearing issues primarily. The suggested route to be taken when developing your website to be ADA-compliant is to do as much as possible to meet the criteria of the act.

The first thing to do is to make sure that those that are visually impaired can navigate the website. This means making sure that the web copy is clearly worded for people using screen readers, and that menus are designed in a way that screen readers can understand the contents of each page. Braille text is also an option and is often used on touch screens for those with visual impairments.

Alt tags are useful and are used to describe an image on the page. Developers often miss this. A poor alt tag can mean the difference between an image being understood and useless. In addition, the correct language of the website can be coded into the website, so that text to speak software knows the correct language to read in.

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