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Understanding ADA Compliance and What it Means for Your Website

By:  |  Category: Blog Friday, October 23rd, 2020  |  No Comments
ADA Compliance

Having a website is a critical element when it comes to running a successful business. Not only does it provide your customers with a place to reach you directly, but it also helps you reach a wider audience of potential customers. However, one aspect that often gets overlooked when designing a website is ensuring that your website is accessible by every visitor.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at something called ADA compliance. From what it means to how it affects your business and how you can ensure that you create an ADA-compliant website, we’ll provide you with everything you need to ensure your website meets all ADA compliance requirements. Continue reading below to learn more.

What Is ADA Compliance?

ADA compliance is a set of guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that requires particular companies to make specific accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

So, how does this pertain to websites?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a new set of regulations called the ADA Standards for Accessible Design was established. Under the new set of standards, it is required that all web content should be accessible to the following types of users:

●       Blind or deaf

●       Cognition and learning difficulties

●       Emotional or behavioral disabilities

●       Permanent or temporary injuries & diseases

●       Use screen readers or other assistive technologies

What Types of Business Must Meet ADA Requirements?

While the law can be confusing to some, organizations that are required to adhere to ADA requirements are the following:

●       State and local government agencies

●       Companies with more than 15 employees

●       Organizations that run for the benefit of or on behalf of the general public

Even if ADA compliance is not required of your business, it’s still essential to create a website that everyone can use. In some cases, if your website is not ADA compliant, your organization may be held liable, and a lawsuit may be filed by users who are unable to access your website.

What Are the ADA Compliance Guidelines?

Though the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division has not released official ADA compliance guidelines, it does provide several recommendations. When designing your company’s website, your content must meet four main principles:

Perceivable

Information and user interface design elements must be presented to users in ways that they can understand the information being depicted on the screen.

Operable

Navigation, as well as user interface components, cannot require interaction that a user is unable to perform.

Understandable

Users must be able to understand the site content and the performance of the user interface.

Robust

Information and content must continue to be reliably translated by various users and assistive technologies as technologies evolve.

How Can I Make My Website ADA Compliant?

If you’re looking to design a website that is ADA compliant, consider following these guidelines:

Captions

All live video content must provide captions.

Audio

When embedding video content, allow users to disable the audio directly from the video player.

Audio Descriptions

All pre-recorded content must have audio descriptions.

Visual Content

Do not display flashing lights or other images that may trigger photosensitive epilepsy or other physical responses. Additionally, if images or video that flash more than three times per second, the site must display a clear warning that the content may be harmful to some users.

Headings and Labels

All pages require consistent headings labels, and text descriptions must be used to describe and communicate the topic or purpose of the content displayed on the page to users.

Alt Text

All images and non-text page elements must have alt text to provide users with an easy way to identify the content. Additionally, alt text must be no more than 250 characters.

Contrast Ratio

All text and images must maintain a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for small text and 3:1 for large text. Exceptions include elements such as large text, images of text, and logotypes.

Content Resizing

Users must be able to resize site content by up to 200% without using assistive technology. Additionally, resizing the content must not result in a loss of content or site functionality. Exceptions include elements such as captions or images of text.

Images of Text

Avoid using images that feature mostly text unless the image is essential or provide users with a way to customize the image.

Navigation Options

Users must have more than one option for locating a page on your website unless the page is required or the result of a process (i.e., online checkout).

Focus Visible

Users accessing your site with a keyboard should have the ability to see the keyboard focus indicator.

Language

For all website content that isn’t in the default language, a language attribute must be added to the page (i.e., websites in English must add a language attribute for a page with content in Spanish).

Navigation and Identification Consistency

Navigation must be consistent and organized for all users. Additionally, site elements with identical function(s) should have consistent identification.

Error Suggestion and Prevention

Offer suggestions for correcting input errors (i.e., the format of a phone number). Additionally, every form on your website should have descriptive labels, and required fields must stand out from the surrounding text. Pages that display legal agreements, financial transactions, modify, view, or delete user-controlled data, or submit user responses must be reversible, reviewed for errors, and confirmed before submission (i.e., order confirmation pages).

Links

Links displayed on the site must be visually distinguishable from surrounding non-link text.

Color

Foreground and background colors must pass color contrast tests. Additionally, avoid using color as the only cue for users.

Keyboard Navigation

All pages must be browsable through the use of keys on a traditional keyboard (i.e., directional arrows, tab, enter)

Do You Need Help with Becoming ADA Compliant? Contact EnhancedTECH Today!

While achieving ADA compliance for your company’s website may seem complicated, it’s a critical element that must be included in the design process. If your website needs help in reaching ADA compliance, EnhancedTECH can help. With our team of web design experts, we will ensure that your company’s website meets all ADA standards. To find out more about how we can help design your business a website that bridges the gap between you and your customers, contact us today.

Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/midsection-of-man-working-326522/

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