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ADA Website Accessibility: Easy Guide for Businesses

The Ins and Outs of an ADA Compliant Website

Picture this. You’ve just spent months of time and funds ensuring your new website presents the right information to the right people. But, building an ADA compliant website was not top of mind, and suddenly, your supreme content is inaccessible to anyone with physical, situational, or socio-economic restrictions.

With dedicated ADA compliance efforts, you’ll knock out barriers that prevent interaction with your website, expand audience reach, and help your business avoid unwanted legal ramifications. Ready to get compliant?

Introduction to Web Accessibility

All people should be able to equally access the content that celebrates your brand and communicates your value. If you’ve designed your website so that all people, regardless of physical, cognitive, or situational limitations, can navigate and interact with your pages, then you’re off to a great start.

 


What Is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility is the ethical practice of making sure your website is equally accessible to all users, including those with disabilities and limitations. To help bring content to an expansive audience, the Web Accessibility Initiative created WCAG to serve as the worldwide standard for web content accessibility.

Each guideline offers testable criteria to ensure website content is perceivable, operable, and understandable – providing clear direction to web designers who want every web element to be equitably assessed.

 

Is Web Accessibility the Same as ADA Compliant?

If your business falls under Title I or Title III of the American Disabilities Act (ADA), you are required to create and maintain an ADA compliant website, and failing to do so can result in legal consequences and a damaged brand reputation. While following web accessibility guidelines is strongly recommended, there are no legal requirements to implement.

 

Why Is Website Accessibility Important?

It’s simple – making your website accessible is the right thing to do. If your brand embodies diversity, equity, and belonging and you value ethically-oriented practices, accessibility should lead your website design process.

If that’s not convincing enough, it’s also the law for most businesses to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 level AA (WCAG 2.0 AA), and failing to do so comes with great financial risks.

 

How to Audit Your Website for Accessibility

Whether you’re planning a website redesign or simply seeking to improve compliance, I’m sure you’re ready to dive into making your website accessible; the first step is to complete your accessibility audit, uncovering areas in which the user experience can be improved and SEO efforts can be bolstered.

 

Scanning Tools or Accessibility Checkers

Free scanning tools such as SortSite and WAVE® Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool identify WCAG errors while providing educational explanations to facilitate correction.

Browser Extensions for Accessibility

Accessibility plugins like ARIA DevTools show your website as a disabled person experiences it, highlighting elements that make your website difficult to use.

Manual Web Accessibility Checks

By testing your site with a screen reader, navigating with only a keyboard, and using functions without the aid of a speaker or microphone, you’re able to catch accessibility issues missed by automated tests.

ADA Compliant Web Experts

Don’t have time to manually check every site page for compliant colors, fonts, and navigations? ADA Compliant Web Experts run website audits and accessibility tests and provide personalized recommendations for building an equitable site.

 

5 Simple Steps To Make Your Website More ADA Compliant

  1. Use sans serif fonts – while serif fonts, the letters with the “feet”, are great for communicating a feeling of elegance, they’re not legible for all users.
  2. Use high contrast colors for text and buttons – differentiation between objects improves readability.
  3. Include alt text with every image, offering both a description of your image’s appearance to the visually impaired and improved SEO ranking.
  4. Ensure all audio and video files offer captions and transcriptions – for the hard of hearing, a visual representation of speech and sound is a must.
  5. Add an ADA widget – a site overlay presents options to adjust colors and elements.

 


Need Guidance on Web Accessibility and the ADA?

Designing an ADA compliant website makes certain that everyone can experience your site elements and features for their intended purposes, securing higher opportunities for lead generation and SEO ranking while avoiding potential legal costs.

Need assistance? Bend Marketing makes accessibility easy, offering customized solutions and tools to help organizations of all sizes meet standards for website accessibility. With options for fully-managed accessibility, Bend transforms the stress of WCAG 2.1 & ADA compliance into an enhanced site that celebrates your commitment to inclusion.