Complete Guide to Making Your Website ADA Compliant: Essential Steps & Best Practices for Accessibility

Making your website ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant involves several important steps to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities. Here’s a comprehensive guide:

1. Understand ADA Requirements

The ADA requires that all electronic and information technology, like websites, be accessible to people with disabilities. This includes individuals with visual, hearing, motor, and cognitive impairments.

2. Follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

WCAG 2.1

The most widely accepted standards for web accessibility. These guidelines are organized into three levels: A (minimum level), AA (standard level), and AAA (highest level).

Principles of Accessible Design

The guidelines are based on four principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

3. Perform an Accessibility Audit

  • Use tools to evaluate your website’s current accessibility.
  • Manual testing: Engage users with disabilities to test the website, as automated tools can miss certain issues.

4. Key Areas to Address

Alt Text for Images

Provide alternative text for images so screen readers can describe them.

Textual Equivalents for Non-Text Content

Include captions for videos and transcripts for audio content.

Keyboard Navigation

Ensure that your site can be navigated using a keyboard alone.

Accessible Forms

Label form elements and provide error guidance.

Contrast and Color

Use sufficient color contrast ratios for text and background.

Resizable Text

Ensure text can be resized up to 200% without loss of content or functionality.

Avoidance of Seizure-Inducing Content

Avoid content that flashes more than three times in any one second period.

5. Consult with Experts

It’s advisable to work with ADA compliance experts or legal counsel to ensure all aspects of your website meet the required standards.

6. Regular Updates and Maintenance

Accessibility is not a one-time fix. Regularly update and maintain your website to ensure ongoing compliance.

7. Accessibility Statement

Include an accessibility statement on your website outlining your commitment to accessibility and providing contact information for accessibility-related feedback.

8. Legal Considerations

Being non-compliant can lead to lawsuits and legal challenges. In the U.S., Title III of the ADA has been interpreted to include websites as “places of public accommodation.”

9. Stay Informed

ADA guidelines and best practices can evolve, so it’s important to stay informed about the latest developments in web accessibility.


Remember, making your website ADA compliant not only avoids legal risks but also broadens your audience and improves the overall user experience.

Contact me for an audit to see if your website is compliant and find out exactly what updates you need to make so your site is legally compliant (it’s free).

You can also see my reviews of accessiBe and EqualWeb — the two leaders in the ADA web compliance space.