3 ADA Web Design Tactics That Will Help You Win In 2022


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.

Working on a website can be difficult. Adding new media and updating pages is chore, even though you know your company website needs to evolve and become more accessible to the many users you are trying to reach. Maybe when you first built it, accessibility wasn’t even really discussed. But now you’ve taken a step back, looked at your customer base with a desire to include everyone and you’ve realized just how important it is to make your site accessible. However, the thought of building a robust site that can do all the things you want it to do is overwhelming.

What is Web Accessibility

A practice of designing and coding the website in order to provide complete compatibility in accessing it by people with disabilities. In addition, it is a way to improve search engine optimization only an ADA Compliant Web Designer will help you to make your website Compliant. Is your website compatible? By going through the checklist below, you can get the answer.

Assessing Current Web Pages and Content

  • The website must include a feature like a navigation link at the top of the page. These links have a bypass mechanism such as a “skip navigation” link. This feature directs screen readers to bypass the row of navigation links and start at the web page content. It is beneficial for people who use screen readers to avoid to listen to all the links each time they jump to a new page.
  • All the links should be understandable when taken out of the context. For example, images without alternative text and links without worded as “click here”.
  • All the graphics, maps, images, and other non-text content must provide text alternatives through the alt attribute, a hidden/visible long description.
  • All the documents posted on the website should available in HTML or another accessible text-based format. It is also applicable to other formats like Portable Document Format (PDF).
  • The online forms on the website should be structured so assistive technology can identify, describe and operate the controls and inputs. By doing this, people with disabilities can review and submit the forms.
  • If the website has online forms, the drop-down list should describe the information instead of displaying a response option. For instance, “Your Age” instead of “18-25”.
  • If the website has data charts and tables, they should be structured so that all data cells are associated with column and row identifiers.
  • All the video files on the website must have audio descriptions (if necessary). This is for the convenience of blind people or for having a visual impairment disability.
  • All the video files on the website must have synchronized captions. People with hearing problems or deaf can access these files conveniently.
  • All the audio files on the website should have synchronized captions to provide access to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • All web pages should be designed so that they can be viewed using visitors’ web browser and operating system settings for color and font.

About Website Accessibility Policy and Procedures

  • One must have a written policy on website accessibility.
  • The website accessibility policy must be posted on the website at a location where it can be easily found.
  • The procedure should be developed to ensure that content is not added to the website until it has been made accessible.
  • It should be confirmed that the website manager has checked the code and structure of all new web pages before they are posted.
  • While adding the PDFs to the website, these should be accessible. Also, the text-based versions of the documents should be accessible at the same time as PDF versions.
  • Make sure that the in-house and contractor staff has received the information about the website accessibility policy and procedure to confirm the website accessibility.
  • It should be confirmed that in-house and contractor staff has received appropriate training on how to ensure the accessibility of the website.
  • The website should have a specific written plan if it contains inaccessible content. Also, it should include timeframes in place to make all of the existing web content accessible.
  • A complete plan to improve website accessibility should be posted along with invited suggestions for improvement.
  • The homepage should include easily locatable information that includes contact details like telephone number and email address. This is useful for reporting website accessibility problems and requesting accessibility services with information.
  • A website should have procedures in place to assure a quick response to the visitors with disabilities who have difficulty in accessing information or services available on the website.
  • Feedback from people who use a variety of assistive technologies is helpful in ensuring website accessibility. So make sure to ask disability groups representing people to provide feedback on the accessibility of your website.
  • Testing the website using a product available on the internet is helpful, These tools are of free cost and check the accessibility of a website. They may not identify all accessibility issues and flag issues that are not accessibility problems. However, these are, nonetheless, a helpful way to improve website accessibility.

Checklist of Action Items for Improving the Accessibility of a Website

In addition, while considering the above suggestions, the following checklist initially prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal Agencies provides further guidelines on ways to make websites more accessible for persons with disabilities.

This practical advice, as well as another checklist, are available at:

Satisfying all of these items does not necessarily mean that a website complies with ADA, but it will improve the website’s accessibility and decrease the risk of litigation. Again, an Expert or Web Accessibility Consulting & Services provider should be engaged to conduct a comprehensive review of your website.
Nothing brings you closer to reality than actually facing it. This is the premise of my latest attempt to spread awareness about Web Accessibility.
For better understand, here is a link in which a practical example is shown to make the websites’ user experience better by following the guidelines. Also, it tells the issues affecting various users on the internet with solutions.
You can make your website ADA compliant in an easy way by consulting the professionals, who can do this job effortlessly. Also, you can get a quick website audit from To Be ADA Compliant that offers complete web accessibility consulting & services in California, USA.

Resource: https://dev.to/chinchang/an-interactive-and-practical-introduction-to-web-accessibility-22o1