It is likely that you already have come across various advises making your website ADA compliant. Many websites including that of very reputed businesses already faced lawsuits for not being ADA compliant. Naturally, this not something to be taken lightly. Being ADA compliant is a necessity for business websites.
For the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the e-filing for ADA compliance. This clearly shows the larger impetus behind this key compliance norm that websites across the niches are finding important these days. For any web app development company, this is a must-have area of expertise and knowledge. You need to have a clear idea about this compliance norm and how it can affect the websites of your clients.
Here through the length of this post, we are going to explain various aspects of ADA compliance and the ways to make a website ADA compliant.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is American legislation that provides all binding regulations to deal with disabled people in various walks of life in the most humanitarian manner.
The third title of this act makes it mandatory for all business websites to deliver a quality user experience for all citizens living life with some kind of disabilities. The regulation basically ensures indiscriminate treatment of all disabled website visitors and users. The act was framed to ensure equal usability of the websites for the disabled users just like the regular website visitors.
So, when your website follows this regulation and ensures accessibility and usability of the website without discrimination, it is considered an ADA compliant website.
Regulations and legal compulsions aside, you must know the specific advantages of making your website ADA compliant. Let us explain the most important reasons to build your site ADA compliant.
As a business focused on growth and customer appreciation, you always want to be righteous. When your business practice is questionable, it can affect your brand image and overall reputation in the course of time.
Legal compulsion and obligation is another reason most businesses now opt for ADA compliance. Over the past decade, several big-name websites had to face legal prosecution for not being ADA compliant. With millions of visually impaired persons now accessing the web, you need to build your site accessible for the disabled and physically challenged.
Unlike opportunist, private business entities government organisations generally follow ethical practices of making their services available to everyone including the disabled and physically challenged. So, if you want to tap on the business opportunities from federal, state or local government bodies, your website needs to be ADA compliant.
Since there are legal obligations for making your website ADA compliant, you can be taken to court and instructed by the authority to follow the compliance any time following a lawsuit. To prevent a crazy rush to go for the compliance, you can rather do it at your own pace and comfort.
In the US alone, there are more than 25 million visually impaired people. There are another 30 million or more people suffering from hearing impairment. There is also an equally large number of people who suffer from other minor types of disabilities. No business wants to lose this huge market. So, being ADA compliant can also result in widening of the market and business opportunities.
With or without ADA compliance a website can look different to a great extent. ADA compliance principally means remaining more accessible and useful for website visitors. Most websites that are not ADA compliant suffer from the absence of the following elements.
To ensure developing your website by strictly following ADA regulation, you need to know the basics of making your website more accessible for the physically challenged. There are several great tools to help you maintain optimum accessibility for the disabled and physically challenged. Let’s mention all the key steps to make your website ADA compliant.
Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) provide several key recommendations about making your website accessible for everyone irrespective of the disability or physical challenge the person is facing. You should always evaluate your entire website with a WAVE Web Accessibility Tool. The Chrome browser of Google offers an inbuilt tool for addressing a variety of issues concerning accessibility and uses. The tool offers recommendations for various issues like style related issues, missing alt tags and several others.
The visually impaired audience form the large part of the disabled or physically challenged audience and for them, you need to offer an alternative to the images. Alt tags offered through voice-over to the users can help this audience to get a detailed feel of the website and the corresponding elements.
You also need to evaluate all the style attributes of your website including the headings, buttons and links. Make sure they remain accessible to all types of users with different kinds and degrees of disabilities. For instance, smaller text fonts or a very low-contrast colour scheme can make it problematic for some users with low eyesight.
As for website contents, you should ensure optimum content readability with simple and shorter paragraphs and a lot of bullet points and visually optimised captions in between. With frequent breaks in the content with heads and subheads, the readability can be optimised to the optimum. Apart from these, make sure that your contents can be read aloud properly by the screen readers.
Lastly, you should also audit the entire website code thoroughly. With developers review the website code and CSS files so that outdated codes and problematic elements from the style-sheet can be removed or replaced.
As the web is increasingly becoming a place for en-masse interactions for everything in life, websites need to be more democratic and accommodating in approach for every section of the populace. Becoming ADA-compliant is part of this ethical approach that no website can undermine now.
WRITTEN BY: Atman Rathod
Atman Rathod is the Founding Director at CMARIX Technolabs Pvt. Ltd., a leading web and mobile app development company with 17+ years of experience. Having…
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