Person using a braille keyboard on a computer

Website Design Accessibility

Is Your Website ADA Compliant?

Every day, we use the Internet to access websites where we read the news, access social media, shop for goods and much more. Those with visual or cognitive disabilities view these same websites differently than the general public does. A website designed without accessibility in mind can prevent access to important information and resources which greatly limits the website’s potential.

Your website’s goal should be to provide the same information to all users regardless of how they view it. In other words, the experience of visiting your website may vary based on who is looking at it and how they view it, but the functionality should remain the same.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in public places. This law requires that all federal and government agencies, financial institutions (such as credit unions and banks), healthcare organizations, and others provide equal accessibility to all of its clients. Recent additions to the law (Title II and Title III) have also made it clear that the law now applies to websites as well. While there is still a bit of a gray area as to “how much” it applies, it’s clear that every business should consider making their website ADA compliant.

Making Your Website Compliant

Existing websites should perform an audit to see what content is not accessible and then make the appropriate changes. Here are a few things to look for on your website:

  • Does your media (images, videos, and audio) have descriptive ALT tags?
  • Do decorative images have empty ALT tags?
  • Do your video and audio include text captions and transcripts?
  • Do you avoid using flashing images and animated videos?
  • Do you provide adequate contrast in your color schemes?
  • Do you provide the ability to adjust color and font sizes?
  • Are all form fields labeled properly?
  • Do your forms provide clear instructions?
  • Do you provide clear navigation instructions in all your links?
  • Do you provide the ability to skip navigation and go right to content?

Take the Next Step

There are many reasons why you want to make sure your website is ADA compliant. The obvious reason is to avoid potential fines and lawsuits, but if your site is not fully accessible, you’re also preventing a portion of the population from purchasing or viewing your products and services.

The process of auditing and updating your website for ADA compliance can be a difficult and time consuming job. While you can do it yourself, you might want to involve an expert to perform the work. Digital agencies will have the tools to perform a successful audit AND make the necessary changes to make your website visible and functional to all of its visitors.

To talk to somebody about your website and determine if it’s ADA compliant, contact IDMI.Net today!

Note: IDMI.Net employees are not attorneys and this article should not be considered legal advice. To read the full text of the Americans with Disabilities Act, please visit: www.ada.gov/2010_regs.htm.