Needs For A Web Accessibility Conformance Statement


A web accessibility conformance statement serves as an evidence that your website is accessible. There are tons of benefits for this, starting from legal to company goodwill. The internet today is ingrained in every facet of our lives.

Different people from all walks of life rely on it in one way or another. And that also includes disabled people. With a conformance statement, you are officially ADA compliant. Here’s all you need to know about an ADA compliant website.

What Is Web Accessibility And A Conformance Statement

The ADA requires websites to be accessible for disabled users under Title III. It states that places of accommodation need to provide equal access to users. And websites are categorized as places of accommodation.

So, according to the law, a website in 2022 needs to be accessible to all kinds of users. This includes people with disabilities ranging from hearing, visual, and also cognitive.

Private plaintiffs can file a lawsuit if they find a website inaccessible. This is where a conformance statement comes in. What does conformance mean then? A conformance statement is just a simple proof that you’re doing it right.

It means that your website is accessible. To be more specific, it’s compliant with WCAG 2.1 guidelines. ADA doesn’t have any formal guidelines or criteria as to what guidelines a website should follow for ADA compliance. But the WCAG 2.1 guidelines are used as a general standard.

The Importance Of A Conformance Statement

A web accessibility conformance statement not only saves you from legal liability but also works to create goodwill as well. Legal fees for accessibility cases can skyrocket. Although most companies usually settle. And that can be around $14,000.

Litigation, on the other hand, can cost around $100,000. But the long-term impact is much more. If your website is not accessible, you might be losing potential customers. Simply because they are just unable to use your website. And that can end up costing much more.

It’s always in the best interest of any company or individual that owns a website to have an accessible one. It shows you care about your visitors. And this creates brand goodwill. In this hyper-competitive market, goodwill is priceless. That’s why an ADA compliant website, along with a conformance statement is crucial.

A Deeper Dive Into The Conformance Statement

A conformance statement is written by a third party who has thoroughly tested your websites. This is done to avoid any conflict of interest.

But that isn’t all. To receive a conformance statement, you need to keep in mind a couple of things. Let’s break these down further.

WCAG 2.1 Guideline Levels

WCAG 2.1 has multiple levels. A, AA, and AAA. A is the minimum level of accessibility requirement level. But it’s risky to only aim for the minimum. A lawsuit can be very costly. So, to cover all liabilities, companies should aim for at least AA.

Multiple Pages

Some might think that only the home page needs to be accessible. That isn’t the case though. If a visitor needs multiple pages to complete a task. All of those pages need to be compliant. For example, if a visitor is to sign up to your website.

They might need to click the sign-up button on the home page. And then navigate to a page where they will create an account. And finally, finish signing up. All the pages involved in this process should be accessible. That means it needs to follow WCAG 2.1 guidelines.

Third-Party Content

If your website has third-party content, it needs to be compliant and accessible as well. Monitoring systems will help identify any parts of the website that don’t meet ADA compliance.

This will help companies to catch liabilities much more quickly. An expert ADA compliance consultancy service can also be very helpful. You can check the WCAG 2.1 guideline yourself for specific web accessibility terms.

Wrapping Up

An accessible website creates a better and equal opportunity for everyone. At ADA for Web, our experts can help you with everything related to web accessibility and ADA compliance. When you have the right partner, then you don’t need to worry about accessibility-related issues.

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.