According to The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all websites must be accessible to people with disabilities. There are some accessible website development standards that almost all websites try to follow. But, adhering to the most recent ADA web design guidelines can help set your website apart,
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) set website standards that comply with the ADA. As new versions of the WCAG come in, new tactics are available for site owners to use. In the most recent WCAG update, new standards for support appear. Alternatives to media, visual ease, and language support are three new tactics to follow.
For businesses and website owners, it is important to keep your site up-to-date with ADA web design. So, let’s look at the new updates for 2022 and three ways you can upgrade your site.
ADA Web Design Tactics In 2022
Beyond the standards of ADA web design, new and innovative features are coming to help those with disabilities. Accessible websites are taking notes from the 2021 version of the WCAG. While the guidine has many new features to add to your website, some standout.
In 2022, improvements in perception and comprehension aids were seen as well. Now, your website’s users should be able to get alternative media for videos, slides, and anything with a run-time. Additionally, color contrasts and support for users to understand visual information should improve.
Language accommodations are also an essential point. Those with cognitive disabilities or issues should be able to access things on the site despite any language barrier.
These only scratch the surface of new guidelines from the WCAG, but they are essential tactics to use in your website’s design.
1. Adding Alternatives For Time-Based Media
Time-based media is any form of audio-visual media that runs for a period. For example, a 4-minute video or a 2-minute PowerPoint presentation are both time-based media. Since these items are usually pre-recorded, the WCAG suggests adding pre-recorded alternatives.
Therefore, any pre-recorded time-based media should have alternative text, alt audio, or other ways to use it. Regardless of how able your user is, they should be able to find alternative ways to access the time-based content on your website.
Here are some things to consider when adding media alternatives to your website.
● In audio, video, or mixed content – pre-recorded captions are a must
● In video or visual content, adding extended audio descriptions
● Pre-recorded sign language interpretation along with audio content
2. Adding Customizable Colors and Fonts on Essential Information
One thing that makes a huge difference in accessibility is for people to be able to adjust things for their ease. We are only familiar with high-contrast fonts and sizing changes in fonts for the disabled. But, a feature letting people adjust font contrast, colors, and sizes can make a difference in how accessible your site is.
Minimum contrasts and sizing requirements must be built into the websites for accessibility from the start. Here are some of the updated formatting guidelines from the WCAG. Following these guidelines will give you an upper hand in web accessibility.
● Maintaining a proper contrast ratio of 4:5:1 in most visual media
● Having the option of resizing any text without using any assistive tech up to 200% percent
● The essence of the information should be clearly visible, and the user can customize it according to their needs
● Background sounds can be adjusted in volume, and the user can turn it off
3. Making Language Accommodations
Language accommodation for an accessible website is not just about international languages. In fact, making the language easy to understand and customizable is also essential. There are a handful of things to consider when making language accommodations on your website.
Here are some features that you can add to your website to make it more readable for any user.
● The user can identify what language they are reading without any assistive tech and be able to translate it quickly.
● Abbreviations and unusual words should have descriptions available for those who need them.
● The user can change the reading level of the text in case of any cognitive issue or hard-to-read material.
● The website has features available to help the user identify the pronunciation of words that can mean differently depending on the context.
Accessible website development is getting more and more comprehensive every day. Since following ADA web design rules helps more users access your content, investing in improving its accessibility will work in your favor.