There is an interesting term going around lately that is taking over the website world. “ADA Compliance”, while this is not a new concept, it has actually been in place since 2010. Recently, ADA compliance has been gaining attention due to recent lawsuits in across several states.
What is ADA Compliance anyway?
ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act. ADA Compliance means that your website is accessible to people who have disabilities that affect their hearing, vision or physical capabilities. Most people who are familiar with ADA compliance know that it typically is associated with physical locations and accommodations such as ramps, braille, and open to service animals. How does this fit into the website world? Well…this is odd because not even the laws are 100% sure on this yet? All that is stated is that your website must meet guidelines to offer reasonable accessibility to people with disabilities. This is also based on the size of your company and hours of operation. I am no lawyer, nor would I claim to be! If you have further questions about ADA compliance, I would seek help from a lawyer. Or, just make your site ADA compliant anyway so you don’t have to worry about it!
3 major things to focus on when thinking about your site being ADA Compliant.
Colors and Fonts – When building a typical site, you want to keep branding in mind. Most sites will stick with their logo fonts and colors to streamline them through the site. To make your site more ADA compliant, you need to make the text and font accessible to web browsers for the viewer to be able to change these in their browser.
Images – When building a website, you look for a nice image that fits and you add it. It makes it easier for ADA when you add HTML to provide text for the visually impaired. It is also good to title and put a description for each image. This not only helps with ADA but it also helps for SEO.
Videos on the Website – The popularity of putting videos on websites is growing. It is a quick way to get across information while keeping it entertaining.. depending on the video! LOL! To help comply with ADA, you can provide audio descriptions and text caption options.
There are many more of these items you need to pay attention to such as forms, movement on the site, using titles and text descriptors, etc.
Keep in mind there are many positives to making your site ADA Compliant. It also helps increase your SEO, gives you a bigger audience, and protects you from any possible lawsuits or penalties. The biggest reason to make your website ADA Compliant is that there is no down side to having it done and you will be contributing to making the internet a little more accessible to viewers with disabilities.