Website Accessibility For All—Is Your Company ADA Compliant?

In this era of technology, ensuring that your websites are accessible to a diverse range of visitors should be a top priority if you happen to be a business owner. So, if you are wondering whether your company is ADA compliant or not, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can check if your company is ADA compliant, along with some other ADA compliance consulting and helpful information you might need.

Why Is ADA Compliance Vital For Your Business?

In designed to safeguard your company from penalties and lawsuits, ADA compliance is essential. Additionally, it helps businesses expand their web presence and improve their reputation.

Businesses that violate the rule also run the risk of paying over $100,000 fines for each violation, as well as being subject to legal action and negative press. The disabled community also values ADA compliance since it enables them to use your products and services both in person and online.

Additionally, having an ADA compliance website increases visitors and profitability. Again, the Internal Revenue Service provides write-offs and tax credits for companies that are accessible to people with disabilities.

For example, a business can benefit from the $5,000 USD Disabled Access Credit, which covers costs incurred to increase accessibility for disabled people. It covers expenditures for both real-world and online locations.

Furthermore, companies can take advantage of the job opportunity credit by actively employing individuals with disabilities. Thus, you can claim a tax credit for a disabled employee’s pay in your first year of employment.

However, ADA compliance is not only legal but also ethically right. Companies must abide by the laws and guarantee that everyone has access to resources. Therefore, ADA compliance is beneficial for your company and brand reputation and also essential to ensure the human rights of your diverse range of clientele.

How To Check If Your Company Website Is ADA Compliant

Regarding ADA website accessibility, there are not any precise guidelines. However, most organizations, including governmental institutions, follow the WCAG standards. You can use automated testing, human testing, or a mix of the two to ensure your website conforms to the ADA standards. The following are a few ways to check if your company is ADA compliant or not:

● Try Using Free Tools
Numerous freely accessible ADA compliance checkers are available for businesses to utilize, which examine your site’s text size, image alt text, color contrast, and other factors. . For example, Lighthouse and WAVE. The drawback is that they only assess a single page at a single time rather than your entire website.
Moreover, anyone wishing to perform an ADA site test can access various other tools. These tools assist in determining whether or not the website complies with the WCAG guidelines. Besides,you may even install ADA compliance plugins if you have access to a WordPress website.

● Requesting A Professional Evaluation
A professional assessment is yet another method you might use to determine whether or not your website complies with the ADA. Some numerous qualified individuals and organizations may analyze your website or websites in-depth and offer advice accordingly.
According to your terms, the agency may make suggestions on your company’s behalf. However, your company will choose if you should spend money on an audit.

● Performing Manual Audits
You can also do a manual audit to check the ADA compliance of your website. To do this, examine the URLs on your company’s website. Using the WCAG, a physical audit entails assessing the usability of each page on the website. Although WCAG seems to be a sizable checklist, it serves as the foundation for ADA compatibility.
However, a manual audit is typically unrealistic for businesses, considering the consequences of not complying with ADA regulations. Using ADA compliance software or spending money on an expert audit ensures your company develops the most acceptable ADA compliance strategy.

● Request Testing From Family & Friends
It’s a less well-known but helpful method of determining whether or not a site complies with the ADA. So, try to select a variety of users, both able-bodied and impaired, and decide whether or not they can easily browse your app or website.

● Compare Your Website To The WCAG Guidelines
You can also use a WCAG test to determine whether your website complies with ADA standards. It will enable you to identify any website areas that don’t adhere to the ADA standards. There are four core principles of WCAG, which further create specific recommendations. These are: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

How To Develop An ADA-compliant Website
Making sure a new website conforms with the ADA is among the most crucial considerations when launching it. So, now, let’s discuss how to develop an ADA-compliant site for your convenience:

1. Include Image Description
Images on websites are essential for conveying information. However, that will be challenging for those who are blind. Adding “alt text” to every picture is a simple fix.
Well, for someone to use a screening tool to comprehend the intended expression of the picture, alt text offers a detailed description.

2. Activate The Keyboard Navigation
Many disabled people using the internet depend on keyboards or other input devices instead of computer mouses for navigating. People often use the ‘Enter’ and ‘Esc’ keys as keyboard shortcuts for opening and closing drop-down menus, respectively.
They can move between different page items by pressing the “Tab” button.

3. Simplify The Website Visuals
One of the most significant issues people with disabilities face is ill-defined visual features. A business owner must make their material accessible to all clients, regardless of whether they have visual or cognitive disabilities.
Ensure that all your website visuals are simple and have improved color contrast.

4. Offer Video & Audio Content Substitutes
There are other types of media as well as images that need a flexible response solution. For instance, transcripts of audio-only material should provide the same information. Besides, videos ought to include captions.
Another valuable method for facilitating access to media for the deaf is sign language translation.

5. Hire A Professional
Hiring a professional company for the job is the most straightforward choice for most businesses. You may update your website quickly and confidently by working with a reputable expert website design company. Thus, you won’t have to worry about assembling an internal project team or managing enough time.
Although cost is a consideration that every business must recognize when considering employing an agency, you need to evaluate the return on that investment. You risk facing costly fines and legal action if your website isn’t ADA compliant. You may reduce this risk by working with an ADA-compliant website design company.

Conclusion
By now, you’ve got to know the significance of ADA compliance for your business and ways to check it. So, if you are considering hiring a professional company to make your website ADA compliant or need ADA compliance consulting, don’t hesitate to contact ADA for Web. We’re looking forward to doing business with you.

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