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ACCESSIBLE WEBSITE DESIGN

ADA Compliant Website Design

The rise of technology has made knowing what laws are applicable to electronic information difficult. Skipping out on the ADA compliance won’t necessarily land you in jail, but it could prompt a serious lawsuit against your company.

After the Target Corporation settled for six million dollars following a class-action lawsuit due to the inaccessibility of their website for the visually impaired, a string of lawsuits against other businesses followed.

This enforcement of ADA guidelines made any business with a website a target for people on the hunt to sue. Incorporating practices that cater to the visually and physically impaired will not only shield you from this, it will allow you to sell to a larger audience.

The requirements for what an ADA compliant website needs to include are somewhat ambiguous, but a professional web designer will know what needs to be done in order to make your website accessible. 

 

An ADA compliant website is one that everyone can enjoy
Websites need to follow ADA compliant guidelines

What is an ADA compliant website?

ADA compliance is a civil rights law instituted in 1990 to end discrimination in public areas against those with disabilities and provide disabled employees protection by requiring organizations to make “reasonable accommodations” for each of them.

As a result of the law, wheelchair ramps were put in front of most organizations and other equality measures were taken by businesses. This was a little ahead of its time and before the widespread use of the Internet took place.

The mandation of websites to be accessible in compliance with ADA standards was passed in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Justice. It required that all electronically accessible information, like websites, be accessible to those with disabilities such as hearing or vision impairments.

There aren’t clear rules or requirements outlined leaving the law open to interpretation. If your failure to comply with ADA standards results in a lawsuit, the courts get to decide your fate.

What is an ADA compliant website?

ADA compliance is a civil rights law instituted in 1990 to end discrimination in public areas against those with disabilities and provide disabled employees protection by requiring organizations to make “reasonable accomadations” for each of them.

As a result of the law, wheelchair ramps were put in front of most organizations and other equality measures were taken by businesses. This was a little ahead of its time and before the widespread use of the Internet took place.

The mandation of websites to be accessible in compliance with ADA standards was passed in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Justice. It required that all electronically accessible information, like websites, be accessible to those with disabilities such as hearing or vision impairments.

There aren’t clear rules or requirements outlined leaving the law open to interpretation. If your failure to comply with ADA standards results in a lawsuit, the courts get to decide your fate.

IS ADA COMPLIANCE MANDATORY FOR WEBSITES?

Generally, business owner’s do not intentionally create their websites without accessibility in mind, it just isn’t really thought about during the process. This inadvertent mistake could possibly cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees if you get slapped with a lawsuit because you forgot or didn’t know to make your business’ website ADA compliant.

On top of having to deal with a lawsuit, you could be hit with a public relations issue and expenses to reformat your website so that it fits ADA compliance guidelines.

The U.S. Department of Justice has a list of guidelines outlining how people can ensure that their website is ADA compliant. A few things surrounding a website that are considered not ADA compliant according to the ADA’s website include low color contrast, displaying information using only color, no alternative texts on images, videos lacking captioning, online forms that are inaccessible, and mouse only navigation. When a website is being constructed, software that allows for the accessibility of the website should be coded into the build.

ADA compliance helps those with visually and physical impairments experience your website
A website following ADA compliant guidelines receives benefits

What are the benefits of an ADA compliant website?

Tailoring your website to comply with ADA standards makes your company more reputable by avoiding discriminatory practices, and shows you will go to great lengths to make sure your website is accessible.

Having a website that is ADA compliant allows you to advertise to and attract more customers. If you can sell to people who rely on technology as their eyes or ears via an Internet connection, you’ll be much more capable of expanding your customer base.

The bots and crawlers that scan web pages are huge fans of websites that are inclusive. Since more people are able to access a website’s content when ADA compliance is put in place, Google will award websites that include it in their design with a higher rank on results pages.

Target a bigger audience

Making your website ADA compliant will give you the benefit of serving a larger number of people through more accessible means.

People who are blind most likely rely on screen readers to read them the text off of a webpage, and those who can’t operate a mouse might have to use software that allows them to type using their voice. These kinds of things can be easily forgotten by someone trying to build a website that never has before, someone who doesn’t understand ADA compliance, or even someone who just simply forgot about it.

Don’t leave anyone out

Here at 11 Marketing + Design, we know how important ADA compliance is to avoid potential legal battles and want to save you the time and money in having to deal with them.

When you rely on us to build your ADA compliant website, we use software that allows us to design while keeping people with disabilities in mind and making it as easy as possible for them to navigate through.

Absolutely no one will be able to point a finger at your business’ website and claim you are discriminating against them based on their disability because everything will be put in place to ensure equal accessibility.

Web developers have been graced with a set of guidelines released by the The World Wide Web Consortium that outline exactly what goes into being compliant with ADA standards means for websites. These guidelines are focused around those that are blind and use screen readers, those that have a motor impairment and rely on keyboard navigation, and other disabilities including color blindness, epilepsy, and other minor visual impairments.

INCREASE SEO WITH ADA COMPLIANCE

Websites that include measures to be ADA compliant generally rank higher than ones that are not. This means when someone is searching for keywords included on your site, yours will be closer to the top than those who are not ADA compliant.

A higher rank on Google will inevitably increase traffic to your website and will especially stand out to users with disabilities and software on their computer installed to assist them in using the Internet. Features on your website including meta tagging, video transcripts, and alternative image text will alert screen readers to your website’s accessibility and in turn, place it at a higher rank.

Websites accessible following ADA requirements reach a larger audience

Need help making your website ADA compliant?

We can build an ADA Compliant website from scratch or, in some cases, even get your current website up to speed. Ask us about how some of the ways it can actually add back to your bottom line at the end of the year.

Don't limit your reach by decreasing your accessibility

How do you make a website ADA compliant?

Remember, being inclusive opens up your service area to a much wider range of potential clients because more people will be able to use your website and see what you have to offer, so investing in a website that is ADA compliant is a great business move.

At 11 Marketing + Design, we use a tool that allows us to easily build an ADA compliant website. The software uses both artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to create more accessible pages for those with disabilities.

What does an ADA compliant website look like?

While the software used to achieve compliance with screen readers and keyboard navigation systems primarily relies on automation, aspects relating to the design of a website that will accommodate those with minor impairments such as color blindness rely on the user interface (UI.) This has to do with the layout and formatting of your website.

If your website is colored in an unfavorable way and featuring little contrast, it will be difficult for users with color blindness to view the information being displayed.

Luckily, there is a foreground application within the program that allows us to design your website however you want, but gives users with specific disabilities the option to modify a number of things to their liking.

Utilizing AI and automation, the software assists us with designing code to build a website that better accommodates people who require things like screen readers or keyboard navigation to maneuver around the Internet. Because everything that is being done is automated, it saves time, money, and the headache of trying to do it yourself.

The software can also recognize images and the components of those images, and if they are missing alternative text that blind people using screen readers require to “view” the image, it will generate text to form a caption that accurately describes what the image is composed of.

Website's must follow the FCC guidelines for website accessibility
Maintain ADA compliant standards with automation

ADA Compliance Through Automation

Something often overlooked in addition to ADA compliance is the maintenance of it. Websites are constantly undergoing changes and updates that affect various aspects of the format and can interfere with compliance.

Using this automated program, your website will be scanned a minimum of once every 24 hours to ensure compliance with ADA guidelines. If it appears your website has fallen out of ADA compliance, problem areas will be remedied as quickly as possible with the use of artificial intelligence.

After learning about what ADA compliance means for websites, it’s important to make sure every aspect of that website is in compliance with these guidelines. Some features on a website can be more difficult to make accessible than others including pop-ups, links, images, and more. Menus, icons, dropdowns, buttons, and forms are also elements of a website that need to be tailored to fit within ADA guidelines and can be done so through us at 11 Marketing + Design.

ADA Compliant Web Design

Ensuring your website is accessible for everyone to use can only benefit you and your business.

On top of attracting a wider client base to your site, you are also building your reputation by telling people you and your business are inclusive of everyone. It also helps rank your website higher through enhanced search engine optimization and appeals to Google as the company has been increasingly awarding websites that foster a good user experience.

If you want to optimize the accessibility of your website, come to the pros at 11 Marketing + Design.

Expand your reach with an ADA compliant website