The ADA compliance website checklist is something all business owners need to follow. And although there are many good reasons for it, two of them matter most. First, you want to ensure people with disabilities can access your site the same way as their peers. And second, you won’t get sued.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been in effect for more than 30 years. Yet, it doesn’t state a strict list of elements. But the rule is simple- a blind or deaf person should find help navigating your site. To make that possible, web admins use various methods- alt tags, screen reader, voice help, and such.
Failure to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act can result in a lawsuit for the owner. Plus, it makes your business look unprofessional and insincere towards a certain group. So, read on to know how you can make your website ADA compliant.
Introduction To Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ADA for websites became relevant in 2010. That year, the justice department passed the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Before that, ADA compliance was mandatory for public transport and buildings only. For example, public buildings have sloping staircases compatible with wheelchairs. And elevators have braille imprints on the keys, etc.
But, after 2010, this extended to the realm of electric and information technology. According to the act, if you have a business under Title 1 and Title 3, you must create an ADA-compliant website.
Businesses under Title 1 use at least 15 full-time staff and conduct business 20 or more weeks a year. Title 3 businesses are the ‘Public Accommodations.’ Such as hotels or banks.
So, if you own either of these businesses, you must ensure they follow ADA. Otherwise, your might face legal consequences.
The ADA defines businesses under Title 1 and 3. Other than that, there isn’t a strict ADA compliance website checklist. So, web admins use common knowledge and experience. For example, you can use specific WordPress plug-ins to increase WordPress ADA compliance.
So, a law-defined ADA compliance website checklist is not available. But web admins can use a general set of requirements as a reference point. You can follow these to create an ADA-compliant website. Learn about them in the discussion below.
ADA Compliance Checklist For Websites
You must make your website operable, perceivable, and understandable to all users. Plus, you have to make sure it runs on all the different kinds of devices available. And that’s the basis of ADA for websites. Now, let’s look at the ways to establish them.
Navigation: Most websites focus on mouse navigation. But people with disabilities often find it hard to operate a website with a mouse. So, as a webmaster, you must focus on making your website operable through the keyboard.
Alt Tags: The content on your website contain lots of images. And a disabled person will not be able to view them like the general population. So, it would help if you created ‘Alt Tags’ for them. These tags will describe the content via text or speech for the people who cannot view them. Plus, it also helps with SEO.
Text Transcripts: A deaf person cannot hear your website’s video and audio files. So, it would help if you created text transcripts for these contents. As a result, the disabled person can still enjoy the benefit of your content.
Consistent layout: Make sure the layout of your website is well-organized. That means a clear distinction between the various elements on your web page. For example, menus, options, links, call-to-action-buttons, and others. Users should not have difficulty differentiating between these essential elements on your website.
Avoid flashing content: Some videos and GIF images flash or use sudden jolts of bright light. And these can elicit epileptic reactions in some people. So, avoid any content that flashes more than three times in one second.
WordPress ADA Compliance: You can use various plug-ins to increase WordPress ADA compliance. For instance, WP Accessibility Helper, UserWay, Accessibility Widget, and others. These plug-ins can make your WP website more usable for disabled visitors.
For an in depth analysis of the extent of ADA compliance of your website, be sure to download our ADA compliance checklist.
Remember, lack of compliance can land you in costly lawsuits. But that shouldn’t be the only motivation. Instead, web admins should focus on ADA compliance out of a sheer sense of responsibility towards an unfortunate group of people who require our active support