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)
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.
Ensure that your site can be navigated using a keyboard alone.
Label form elements and provide error guidance.
Contrast and Color
Use sufficient color contrast ratios for text and background.
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).
Ivan is a professional advertiser and digital content marketer. Here are some famous brands he’s worked with.
When he’s not running ad campaigns, Ivan is helping people get more customers with bespoke interactive chatbots (i.e., virtual assistants for your website that turn prospects into paying customers).