Should Your Website Be ADA Compliant?
The internet is an integral part of our lives nowadays. However, even now, some websites are not ADA compliant. You might wonder if your website needs to be ADA compliant.
Well, the definite answer is absolutely yes. That way you will ensure that the greatest number of people can use your website and have a good experience. Which is always a good thing for your business and brand.
The Importance of ADA Compliance and Accessibility
If you think about it, your website is one of the most important touchpoints for your customers. They will check out your website to see what services or products you offer. And more importantly, how can you bring them value?
But, imagine if a website is not ADA compliant. Which means it was not designed with accessibility in mind. Then you are potentially losing a lot of visitors. These visitors could have been paying customers. And there is also the chance of a lawsuit. Both of which you want to avoid.
No one said designing, building, deploying, and maintaining a website is easy. There are a lot of moving parts you need to think of. And it can be easy to overlook accessibility. But studies have shown that 71% of visitors with disabilities will leave a site in 10 seconds if it is not accessible.
This number is quite hard to ignore. So, to ensure you reach the maximum number of people, you need your website to be ADA compliant. Which means it needs to be accessible.
By having an ADA compliant website, you essentially ensure that you are legally safe. And also, your website provides a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone. People with different kinds of disabilities will be able to use your website with ease. And that is always a good thing, right?
Over the past couple of years, ADA compliance related lawsuits have almost tripled. You should keep one thing in mind though.
The legal reasons should not be your only motivator. Creating a good experience for your customers is more important. That is how you can create a loyal brand following and an awesome customer experience.
The Digital Trends Websites are Following
Making your website Responsive Dec 2015
Making sure that the website looks good on all devices no matter the screen size.
SSL Certificate Security for your visitors July 2018
Making your website secure for your customers.
ADA Website Compliance Jan 2019
Website that includes everyone and is Web Accessible.
CCPA & GDPR (Right to be Forgotten) Jan 2020
The California Consumer Privacy Act is a bill intended to enhance privacy rights and consumer protection
The ADA Compliance Checklist
In 2010, a law was passed that included websites. It classified online websites as places of accommodations. Which means they needed to comply with the American Disabilities Act (ADA). Luckily, there is a basic ADA compliance website checklist you can follow.
These will help you know exactly what features your website needs to be accessible. You can check out this full guideline for WCAG 2.1. Let’s dive in and see some of the main areas.
Modern websites are very visual. They use graphics and images to create an immersive experience. But not all users can view media. For those users, you should offer text alternatives. It will make navigation much easier.
High Contrast Option
Another basic checklist you should check is a high contrast option. Have high-contrast web pages for those who are visually impaired. In some cases, high contrast makes it easier for people with disabilities to view and read web content.
The high contrast option does not need to be the default though. You should just give your users the option to switch to a high contrast mode if there is a need.
Keyboard navigation support especially for shortcuts is necessary. For many disabled users, the mouse is not as intuitive. Keyboard navigation will make things easier for them. So, ensure that your website can be navigated with a keyboard. This one is one of the most basic accessibility features for any website.
Accessible and Clean HTML
One of the very first steps to ensure your website is ADA compliant and accessible is to start with clean HTML. Ensuring all the best practices are done will help make it easier. Your website should have proper meta, lists, title tags, and other components.
They should be easily noticeable and screen readers should be able to identify them with ease. So, it is easy for visually impaired users to use your website.
Another great way of ensuring that your website is accessible is to have another version of it. You can offer a simplified version of your website for those with disabilities. This means that you do not have to change much of your website.
And offering a more simplified version that will make it easier for disabled visitors can help. That being said, your main website should still follow ADA guidelines. That is the safer and better route.
Minimize Flashing Graphics
Try to avoid or minimize flashing graphics. These can induce seizures which will make your website inaccessible for a lot of people with disabilities.
Broad Design Rules When Creating a website
The ADA compliance website checklist above should give you a solid idea of how to make your website ADA compliant. But, if you know some design rules that ensure accessibility, you will set yourself up for success.
So, let’s check out some design rules you need to keep in mind. We will keep this very short and to the point.
- Flexible: Your website should be easy to use for a wide range of people with different capabilities.
- Minimal Physical Effort: The website should be easy to use without any kind of excess physical fatigue.
- Error Tolerance: Your website should not harshly punish misclicks or errors. The consequences of unintended actions should be very minimal.
- Effective Design: The point of a website is to relay information to the visitor. Your website should be able to effectively and intuitively communicate all necessary information.
- Intuitive: The design of the website should be easy to use and intuitive. Regardless of the visitor’s concentration or experience level.
If you truly want, creating an ADA compliant website is very easy. You just need to follow the right guidelines. Not only will that help you stay away from legal troubles, but it also does wonders for your brand. At ADA for Web, we are experts at web accessibility. We can help you get your website up to speed to meet all accessibility and ADA guidelines.