Were you aware that an action has been filed against the internationally famous American pop-singer Beyoncé on the ADA Compliant website? Did you know that well-known media personality and beauty industry entrepreneur Kylie Jenner’s business was sued for not having an ADA compliant website?
Even popular restaurant companies like Domino’s Pizza and Burger King have been sued for failure of visually impaired people’s access to their websites!
The question now is, ‘Is your website compliant with the ADA?’ Let’s get it right: What is conformity with ADA? For websites, what does compliance with ADA mean?
What is ADA Compliant?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design mandate that all electronic and information technology (such as websites) be accessible to people with disabilities. It’s not the same as complying with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
This law was enacted to ensure that any business that serves the public has the necessary facilities to accommodate people with disabilities in its buildings.
The Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design were passed in 2010, and since then, all information and electronic technology, such as websites, has been required to be accessible to people with disabilities.
Who needs to follow ADA requirements?
You’re probably wondering if website ADA compliant applies to you now that you know what it means.
ADA requirements must be followed by the following organisations:
- Government agencies at the state and local levels.
- Employers with 15 or more employees are considered private employers.
- Businesses that operate for the general public’s benefit.
With an ADD compliant website you can access your website as easily as anyone else by people with disabilities like visual, ear or physical impairments.
Is it Necessary to Build ADA Compliant Websites for Businesses?
When creating a website, people often wonder whether or not their compliance with ADA should be respected. If you are one, trust me then there are many solid reasons for contacting a website designer who complies with ADA to build a website that complies with ADA.
- It Expands Your Target Audience Range –
It makes a group of people who suffer from disabilities feel exc5luded from your website that does not conform to your ADA-Compliance. In view of the rapidly growing online competition, it can prove fatal to a slight part of your target audience.
- It Ensures Better Ranking in The SERPs –
The higher your search engine optimization ranking, the more ADA accessible your website is. More than ever before, search engines are crawling web pages with a human intent. In the same way that search engines crawl your pages, screen readers do as well.
- It Uplifts Your Business/Brand Reputation-
It establishes a positive reputation for your brand or business when you hire an ADA compliant website builder to make your website ADA accessible. Are you curious as to how? It simply demonstrates to your audience that you care about them enough to cater to their specific needs. Consider that your competitors’ websites aren’t ADA-compliant.
- It Reduces the Risks of Any Penalty –
- It Reduces the Risks of Any Penalty –
Did you know that Kylie Jenner, a well-known media personality and beauty industry entrepreneur, was sued for failing to have an ADA-compliant website? If you don’t want your business website to be involved in an ADA Compliant website lawsuit and have to pay the legal fees associated with not complying with the ADA, you should make the necessary changes to make it ADA compliant.
What happens if your website isn’t ADA compliant?
Unfortunately, if your website isn’t ADA-compliant, you’ll be held liable. If people with disabilities are unable to access or use your website, a lawsuit could be filed against you. Even if your company had no intention of discriminating against or excluding people with disabilities from visiting or using its website, you could face costly lawsuits.
THE MOST WEB ACCESSIBILITY LAWS ARE IN NEW YORK AND CALIFORNIA.
In early 2021, web accessibility litigation is still on the rise. In general, the number of lawsuits filed in federal and state courts is increasing. While state court data is unreliable due to reporting restrictions, all indications point to a recent increase in state court filings, particularly in California and New York.
ADA Compliance and Accessibility Checklist
Adherence to both A and AA conformance levels is the best way to make your website ADA compliant. The AAA level criteria must be followed if you want your website to be accessible to the vast majority of users. Keep in mind that some website content will not be able to achieve full AAA compliance.
If you follow them, you can easily make your website accessible to everyone.
Level 1 Conformance – To achieve Level A, web pages must meet all of the success criteria.
Level 2 Conformance –For AA, web pages must meet all of the Level A and Level AA success criteria.
Level 3 Conformance – To achieve AAA, web pages must meet all of the success criteria from Level A, AA, and AAA.
What is WCAG?
Despite the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not provide specific guidelines for website compliance, many businesses adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). This isn’t a legal requirement, but it serves as a guide for businesses looking to improve their digital accessibility.
WCAG 1.0, 2.0, and 2.1 are the three versions. Version 2.0 superseded version 1.0, and version 2.1 is a follow-up to 2.0. There are three levels of conformance: A (the most basic level of accessibility), AA (the target level of accessibility that meets legal requirements), and AAA (the highest level of accessibility that meets legal requirements) (exceeds accessibility requirements).
WCAG prescribes three compliance levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.
Your website must meet the following requirements to be ADA compliant at the beginner level:
- Providing non-text content text alternatives
- Provide alternatives to video and audio
- Provide subtitles for all videos that include audio content
- For all instructions, use more than one sense
- Use a presentation that isn’t solely based on color.
- All functionality should be accessed solely through the keyboard
- Ascertain that users have command over time limits.
- Allow users to control the movement of content.
- Provide a link to “skip to content.”
- Use descriptive page titles that are easy to understand.
- Items should be presented in a logical order.
- Make the purpose of each link obvious based on its context.
- Ascertain that page elements do not change when the user’s attention is drawn to them.
In order to be compliant at the intermediate level, your site must also meet the following requirements:
- Make sure the text-to-background contrast ratio is at least 4.5:1.
- Ensure that text can be resized to 200 percent of its original size without losing content or functionality.
- Text images should not be used.
- Provide a number of options for finding pages.
- Use labels and headings that are easy to read.
- When the language on a page changes, notify users.
- Consistently use all menus.
- Consistently use all icons and buttons.
- When users make mistakes, offer solutions.
- Reduce the chance of sensitive data being entered incorrectly.
In order to be compliant at the advanced level, your site must also meet the following requirements:
- Provide video translations in sign language.
- For videos, provide a longer audio description.
- For videos, provide a text alternative.
- Provide live audio alternatives.
- Make sure the text-to-background contrast ratio is at least 7:1.
- Ensure that all audio is audible to listeners.
- Provide users with a variety of presentation options.
- Ensure that all content is only accessible via keyboard.
- Remove all time constraints.
- Users should not be interrupted.
- When re-authenticating, save all user data.
- Always inform users of their location (within site navigation).
- Use appropriate headings to break up the content.
- Any strange or unusual words should be explained.
- All abbreviations must be explained.
- Ascertain that all content can be read by someone with a minimum of nine years of education.
- All difficult-to-pronounce words should be explained.
The WCAG 2.1 Guidelines Ensure your Web Content is:
Perceivable: The information is presented in a clear and understandable manner. Offering alternatives to text, such as audio alternatives or assistive technology, can help people who are blind or visually impaired understand your website’s content.
Operable: Offering keyboard accessibility, for example, allows users with disabilities to navigate your website and access content with ease.
Understandable: The content is simple to comprehend. Making content readable and predictable, for example, and providing input assistance if needed are examples.
Robust: The content on your website can be interpreted by a variety of devices and platforms. For instance, you might want to make sure that your content is compatible with user agents.
Wrapping up –
The first step in making your website ADA compliant is to decide on the level of compliance you want to achieve. After that, look over the criteria and see if your website complies with them. Then finally hire a leading company who excel at developing your website as per the compliance of ADA.
Need help becoming ADA compliant?
Getting your website to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can be difficult, especially if your web design and development team is short on time. However, becoming ADA compliant is essential, as a lawsuit could cost your company thousands of dollars.
If you want to make your website ADA accessible now, versus later, we can help. In the United States, we are a leading mobile and web app development company. You can contact us at any time, and we can assist you in developing a practical plan that balances legal risk and cost in order to help you achieve ADA compliance.