How to make your website ADA compliant

Is your website or mobile app ADA compliant? Making sure your digital experiences are accessible to as many people as possible is critical.

In today’s digital age, ensuring that your website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities, is not just a matter of inclusivity but also a legal requirement. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that public-facing websites be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Additionally, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide standards for making web content more accessible. Let’s make your website ADA-compliant by following WCAG guidelines and ensuring full user accessibility.

Understanding ADA Compliance and WCAG Guidelines

ADA compliance is adhering to the regulations set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The act prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including digital experiences like mobile apps and websites. Your website must be accessible to people with various disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological impairments.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide a framework for making web content more accessible to individuals with disabilities. WCAG is divided into different levels of conformance: A, AA, and AAA. The latest version, WCAG 2.2, encompasses updated accessibility guidelines. WCAG AA is the level most commonly targeted for compliance, as it balances accessibility requirements and feasibility for implementation.

Vital Elements of ADA-Compliant Websites

  1. Text Alternatives: Provide alt text for all images, graphics, and video content. This ensures users with visual impairments can access and understand the content.
  2. Keyboard Accessibility: Ensure your website’s functionality can be operated using a keyboard alone. Some users may rely on keyboard navigation instead of a mouse.
  3. Color Contrast: Maintain strong brand color contrast between text and background elements. This improves readability for users with low vision or color blindness.
  4. Straightforward Navigation: Design intuitive and consistent navigation menus to help users quickly navigate through your website, regardless of their abilities.
  5. Multimedia Accessibility: Provide captions and transcripts for audio and video content for users who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  6. Form Accessibility: Ensure all form fields are appropriately labeled and accessible via keyboard input. Add tooltips with clear instructions for users to complete the forms accurately.

Steps to Make Your Website ADA Compliant

Photo by Desola Lanre-Ologun on Unsplash
  1. Conduct a Website Accessibility Audit: Evaluate your website’s current level of accessibility using automated tools, manual testing, and user feedback. Identify areas that need improvement and prioritize them based on their impact on user accessibility.
  2. Implement WCAG Guidelines: Get familiar with WCAG guidelines and implement them across your website and digital experiences. Focus on meeting the requirements for text alternatives, keyboard accessibility, color contrast, navigation, multimedia accessibility, and form accessibility.
  3. Use Semantic HTML: Make sure your website’s HTML or CMS markup is semantic. Use proper headings, lists, and alt tags to enhance accessibility for screen readers and assistive technologies.
  4. Test for Accessibility: Regularly test your website for accessibility using automated tools, manual testing, and user feedback. Address any issues or barriers identified during testing promptly to improve the overall accessibility of your website.
  5. Provide Accessibility Statements: Your website should include an accessibility statement. This statement should include information about your steps to make your website accessible and how users can request assistance or provide feedback.
  6. Stay Informed: Stay up-to-date with ADA regulations, WCAG guidelines (e.g., WCAG 3 is coming), and UX best practices. Refine and improve your website’s accessibility to comply with ever-evolving digital standards.

Future Trends in ADA Compliance and WCAG Guidelines

As technology continues to evolve, so will the standards and guidelines for web accessibility. WCAG 3.0 is on the way and intends to enhance accessibility standards for web content further. Making your website ADA-compliant is your legal and moral imperative to ensure equal access and opportunity for all your loyal users. Make it a priority. Follow WCAG guidelines and implement accessibility best practices.

You can create a frictionless and welcoming online experience for your clients, members, and new business.

Discover more from Doing

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading