Website ADA compliance continues to be an important but overlooked matter for businesses or other similar corporate entities. Not taking the time to ensure your website’s ADA compliance may mean you can find yourself scrutinized to accessibility adherence. Businesses by top names are not excused for such oversights. Names like Beyoncé, Domino’s Pizza, and Fox News Networks have received lawsuits for noncompliance. This is because the Americans with Disabilities Act is a strict liability law. This means that there is no defense or excuse should you be caught in violation. This means that whether you were ignorant, forgot about it, or the issue is being worked on, you are still liable. So if you have a business, think about it this way: your offense is your best defense, and make sure you’re ADA compliant.
Over the past year (from 2020 to 2021), the number of internet users in America increased by 11 million, making that a total of 298.8 million internet users as of January 2021. With this many users, the task of being able to equally cater to them regardless of disabilities may seem daunting. But there are guides to make sure that your website is ADA compliant and that you are able to reach and serve all your customers, disabled or not, equally.
WCAG 2.1 AA Compliance:
It is important to note that there isn’t a specific U.S. government-mandated standard when it comes to website or application compliance. But there is on the other hand the World Wide Web Consortium. This entity has published guidelines that have been seen and accepted as the standard which must be upheld. This is called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The 2.1 version is the “most commonly required and accepted, not only in the United States but across the globe.” It has also been noted that WCAG 2.1 AA conformance takes into consideration applications. This is helpful as mobile access has also become more popular in recent years. This version of the guideline has also been referenced in most lawsuits.
According to the WCAG, a website or application’s structure, content, and navigation must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. A violation of any one of these discredits a website or application from being a complaint.
- the text must meet standard sizes, fonts, colors, and contrasts and contrasts
- Images are accompanied by alt text
- Closed captioning is available for videos
- The website is one that can be easily navigated
- There are alternate ways to navigate the website aside from the usual point-and-click for people who use assistive technology
- The content must be easily comprehended by a user
- Pages must especially be accommodating to users who will make use of assistive technologies like screen readers
- Pages must still be accessible and work well regardless of what device is used to access this
While making sure your website meets all of the P.O.U.R. principles, that shouldn’t be where it ends. Some good practices would be to ensure that this is all correct. Hiring a third-party auditor or making use of online website ADA compliance tools may assist in this step. Making the necessary changes or revisions based on these audits will prove useful as well. In addition, it would be helpful to conduct tests with persons with disabilities to test for effectiveness and continue to scan and monitor your website moving forward.