Does My Website Need to Be ADA-Compliant?
In today's Digital Marketing Mastery, we talk about the importance and usefulness of your business website being ADA complaint.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all websites that fall under the federal, state, and local government are required to be compliant with the accessibility guidelines of the ADA. Up until 2001, only government websites were required to stay ADA-compliant. An amendment in 2001 caused the law to comply with all internet and intranet applications.
There is an extensive explanation under Title III of the ADA on the types of organizations that must be ADA-compliant. While this section discusses organizations and not their websites specifically, certain websites are exempt from being ADA-compliant. This article will talk about the websites that are required to comply with accessibility regulations of the ADA and steps on how you can make your website conform to the ADA regulations.
Title III Under The ADA
The Americans with Disabilities Act has several sections that pertain to different sectors and issues. One of the sections specifically pertains to public accommodation. The ADA defines equal employment opportunity, telecommunication, and government representation guidelines.
Title III states that any private organization that accommodates the public, such as restaurants, hotels, stores, hospitals, etc., must ensure accessibility for people with disabilities. While it is not expressly stated in the section, it requires all aspects of the organization to comply with the regulation, including website accessibility compliance.
An ADA-compliant website example can be seen on the Hilton website. Hilton is a chain of hotels that are found all over the world. Going back to the sections in the ADA, the Hilton organization falls under Title III. This means that all their physical and digital assets must be handicap compliant. Hilton has done a great job keeping its website compliant by offering accessibility preferences to its visitors. The Hilton website is seen as the most seizure-safe website and protects individuals with disabilities when they visit the website.
Lonely Planet is another excellent example of a 508-compliant website. The website also offers several accessibility profiles. The profiles range from seizure-safe shapes to other preferences that cater to people facing ADHD or neurodevelopment issues.
Steps To Make A Website ADA Compliant
Whether or not your website needs to be ADA compliant can be a grey area, especially if you are not an organization that falls under the public accommodation clause. Nonetheless, meeting the ADA compliance requirements for your website is never a bad option. Even if you are not required to, having an ADA-compliant website can build trust within your customers and improve the brand image.
If you are required under law, here are some steps to make your website ADA compliant.
Making a website tablet or mobile-friendly is vital to becoming ADA-compliant. While it is an ADA requirement, this step should be a staple for every website. Responsiveness falls under the website's ability to switch its layout and navigation based on your device. People with disabilities prefer visiting sites on their phones, and having a responsive website can allow them to do this seamlessly.
Easy To Navigate
Most people with disabilities find it difficult to navigate a website. This is why the ADA requires website navigation to be simplified. A quick and easy way to do this is by introducing tab navigation. It will facilitate the navigation process by allowing the user to employ keyboard shortcuts to move through the website. With this feature, visually and physically impaired people can navigate your website, causing your bounce rate to increase drastically.
Ensure Proper Labeling
A major aspect of ADA website compliance is labeling. Visitors are often visually impaired and require your website to have a speech recognition system to help them navigate easily. For your website to work accordingly, the labeling and alt tags need to be properly defined to work efficiently. Ensuring that title tags are in-line with the navigation bar text and alt tags that explain an image are all steps you can take to make your website ADA compliant.
Incorporate Spacing And Sizing
People who experience tremors or a lack of hand-eye coordination can find it challenging to click small icons. This is where you need to incorporate spacing and sizing to make it accessible for people with disabilities while keeping the website's aesthetics.
Color And Contrast
According to the National Institute of Health study, color blindness is prevalent in 8.3% of men and 0.5% of women. Color blindness is a disability that needs to be catered to, and the best way to do this is by using contrasting colors on your website. Doing this will allow your website to be accessed by everyone. Several tools, such as the Contrast Ratio, will give you a rating on the contrast of text and background. Everyone can easily read anything over 4.51.
How Do I Make My Website ADA Compliant?
There are several ways you can make your website ADA compliant. One easy way is by doing it yourself. The requirements are available online on what needs to be on your website to be ADA-compliant. While this can be the quickest way, you might not be compliant in all aspects unless you are an expert in the regulation.
The second way is using third-party widgets that offer ADA compliance. This method can be quick and straightforward, but since it is a widget, it comes with a pre-programmed chain of processes that might interfere with your existing website.
The best way to get your website ADA compliant is by recruiting the help of a professional web development agency like Epitome Digital Marketing. We will ensure that your website complies with all the requirements while maintaining a strong aesthetic appeal to the website.
While you may not need to be an ADA-compliant website, it is always good to offer accessibility for the sake of your brand. It is a huge step in improving your brand's image and showing your customers that you care about them. Visit Epitome Digital Marketing and get a quote today!
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