If you keep abreast of web trends, you’ve probably stumbled upon the term ADA compliance. But what exactly is it? Well, simply put, it’s short for the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. ADA compliance requires that all electronic and information technology (like websites and mobile apps) be accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Ensuring your website is ADA compliant is an excellent way to make your organization more inclusive and grow your business. That said, here are three vital things you need to know about ADA compliance.
Who Should Adhere to ADA Requirements?
Now that you’re conversant with ADA compliance, you’re probably unsure whether you need to follow ADA requirements.
Because ADA includes all electronic and information technology, it affects almost all businesses and web designers. However, ADA compliance particularly applies to:
- State and local government bodies
- Private organizations with 15 or more employees
- Organizations that operate for the public good. For instance, hospitals, banks, restaurants, schools, and more).
Even if your organization doesn’t feature in the list above, the experts at AudioEye still recommend you build a website that’s accessible to everyone.
What Happens if Your Website is Non-Compliant?
Unfortunately, when it comes to ADA compliance, ignorance isn’t bliss. If people with disabilities cannot access your site, they can file a lawsuit against your organization, and you could end up losing colossal sums of money due to lawsuits.
Additionally, you could end up incurring heavy losses due to other things like:
- Legal fees
- Out-of-court settlements
- Crisis management costs and PR services
What’s more, you could be losing out on numerous visitors and business opportunities if your website isn’t ADA compliant. Roughly 12 million people above the age of 40 in the U.S. have vision impairment – that’s a significant number of people your website is missing out on if it isn’t accessible to the visually impaired.
How Can You Achieve ADA Compliance?
Now that you’re aware of the consequences of not having an ADA-compliant website, how can you meet the ADA compliance requirements?
The first go-to resource you’ll want to check out is the WCAG 2.0 guidelines published by the World Wide Web Consortium(W3C). The guidelines offer recommendations for making website content accessible to people with disabilities. The guidelines advise that web content must be:
Perceivable: Website users must perceive content like text, audio, video, images, and more. The content shouldn’t be invisible to all of a user’s senses. For example, if your users are visually impaired, there should be an audio alternative for them.
Operable: Website users must be able to navigate your site and utilize the site tools provided. All users must seamlessly move from one page to another and use any site tools, like currency converters.
Understandable: Website users need to be able to interpret the content provided to them. They need to understand what they’re hearing, watching, and so on. For instance, your site may provide instructions on how to fill out a contact form.
Robust: Website users need to have the same user experience. Disabled users using assistive technologies should have the same user experience as non-disabled users. For example, people reading captions should receive the same content as people listening to the video.
After going through the WCAG 2.0 guidelines, you can also check whether your site is compliant using an ADA compliance checker.
Get ADA Compliant
Your organization needs an ADA-compliant website. Having an ADA-compliant site can prevent your organization from incurring hefty penalties, and it could even enhance your organization’s reputation too.
Use our ADA compliance checker to check if your website is ADA compliant. And if it isn’t, contact us today to learn more about ADA compliance.
Marcus Smith is a blogger, traveler, machinery blogger, and health-related article writer. Born in Sydney, Australia.