9 Benefits of Website Accessibility and ADA Compliance for Small Businesses


Accessibility and ADA compliance for web content is essential for businesses with web presences. Website content must be written in a way that all users can understand and navigate, regardless of any special abilities or disabilities. With the recent explosion of web traffic from mobile devices, the potential risk of being found non-compliant is even greater-and the penalties associated with non-compliance can be very steep. But accessibility isn’t just a means of avoiding penalties. There are significant advantages to making sure your website is compliant with ADA standards.

In this article, we’ll explore the primary benefits of complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and making your site user-friendly and accessible.

1. Increased Traffic

When it comes to improving traffic to your website, accessibility is a key factor. According to recent research, web users with a disability or special need represent at least 20 percent of the total Internet audience. Even if your business does not explicitly provide goods and services to this population, consider these potential customers who, like any other web user, are looking for information, goods and services. If your site is not ADA-compliant, you risk losing these potential customers.

2. Improved Search Ranking

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential element of any business’s digital marketing strategy. By optimizing your content to be SEO-friendly, you can boost your ranking in search engine results, thereby increasing web traffic and visibility. Recent research by Google shows that developing content for web accessibility can help your SEO rankings by ensuring your site is crawlable and indexable.

3. Increased Conversions

Not just a traffic generator, accessibility also increases the chances of website conversions. In general, a website’s conversion rate reflects the amount of traffic the site generates and how the content entices visitors to become customers or users. By making sure your content is ADA-compliant and easy to navigate, you’re increasing the chances that visitors will convert-i.e., buy a product, sign up for an account, etc. According to WiderFunnel, accessible content can increase conversions by as much as 30-40%.

4. Improved Branding and Reputation

By making your website accessible, you’re conveying a message that your business values diversity, inclusion and social responsibility. Making your content compliant with the ADA not only shows you’re compliant with the law, but also demonstrates your willingness to provide the best service for all users. It’s no wonder, then, that tangible business benefits usually follow when businesses prioritize web accessibility.

5. Improved Usability

When content is written and designed for user accessibility, everyone (including people with disabilities) benefits from easy navigation, clear information and site functionality. ADA-specific programming provides access to persons with specific physical and cognitive disabilities, but its many benefits reach far beyond. Providing user-friendly content not only helps visitors find their way around an unfamiliar website, but it also ensures that people understand and can easily access the content you provide.

6. Reduced Legal Risk

Without question, making sure your website is ADA compliant is a legal must. Websites that don’t meet accessibility standards can lead to litigation, fines and other legal costs. Given the rise in web-related lawsuits in recent years, mitigating such risks should be a priority for all businesses.

7. Social Responsibility

Nobody wants to be seen as “exclusionary” or “discriminatory”, and that’s especially true in today’s increasingly socially conscious environment. By making sure your website is accessible, you’re demonstrating your commitment to “leveling the playing field” and being an inclusive business.

8. Compliance with Mobile Accessibility Standards

Web traffic from mobile devices continues to increase exponentially, with an estimated 80% of web usage coming from users on phones or tablets. The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) has developed web accessibility standards specifically for mobile devices, a key component of which is making sure that all text, images and videos are accessible, regardless of the device being used. By making sure your website is up-to-date with current mobile accessibility standards, you’re making sure that all users will be able to view your content properly.

9. Lower Development Costs

ADA compliance doesn’t have to be expensive. Many of the basic coding processes are relatively simple, and the cost of incorporating such measures into the development process can be very low. Rolling accessibility measures into the site build from the start can help to save time and money down the road.

Ultimately, making sure your website is ADA compliant is essential for any business. Not only is it the right thing to do (the courts are becoming increasingly strict in enforcing web accessibility standards), but there are also significant financial and branding benefits to be enjoyed. Take the time to properly optimize your site for user accessibility and you’ll reap the rewards of improved traffic, conversions and brand image.

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