November 13, 2019
by Lori Shecter
Top 12 ADA Website Compliance Requirements
These 12 ADA website requirements are a good place to start making your website accessible. You may not know that your website must be accessible to users with sight, hearing, and mobility disabilities. The increase in lawsuits against businesses without an accessible website has drastically increased in the last year increasing from 814 to over 2000. These instances are expected to rise because there is a burgeoning legal practice dedicated to finding non-compliant websites and file suit. This is easy to accomplish due to technology that enables lawyers to find missing WCAE requirements from any website. With the October 2019 landmark Supreme Court Ruling against Dominos, we believe that the incidents of these lawsuits will increase. Only your lawyer can evaluate your legal risk, but we can tell you some things to look for. Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the web, including:
There are two parts to ensuring a compliant website– technology and content management. Technology will make the code on your website accessible, while content management involves adding text to images that enable an image to be text reader compliant. You need to ensure your website is developed in a technology that allows it to become ADA compliant. We Are Immediate builds websites in WordPress which can become ADA compliant.
If you are in the process of getting your website remediated, make sure to have an accessibility statement on your website. It will not 100% stop a lawsuit, but it can help. The statement should include:
- A description of your commitment to ADA requirements
- A statement concerning that you are in the process of making your website compliant
- Your telephone number for people to call to get help
- A statement describing your location’s accessibility
You can check to see the basic accessibility of your website by installing the free chrome plugin, WAVE. This will show you non-compliant issues with your website.
Do not rely on automated technology to identify all issues with your website. We are aware of several automated services, but we have been told by multiple experts, that this is not a 100% guarantee in making your website compliant. There are over 60 points in the 2018 WCAE 2.0 requirements which makes it impossible for automated tools to capture all elements. This is a list of the major elements that you need to check for:
12 Things Accessibility Checkers Look For
1: The colors on your website must have enough contrast between letters and background text.
2: All text screen reader optimized. You can test this via a screen-reader by downloading free mobile screen reader apps. Click this link to find free screen reader apps.
3: All images must have alt-tag descriptions to be able to be read by a screen reader.
4: Forms must be labeled clearly and must have easy to read or heard error feedback
5: All video needs to have captions. YouTube can help you with this, but make sure to test it.
6: Make all functionality available from a keyboard versus a mouse. People should be able to navigate from page to page as well as within each page using a keyboard. This usually is accomplished with a web developer.
7: Provide users enough time to read and use the content. Don’t make pages automatically move to the next page, or have carousels that move too fast.
8: Don’t design content in a way that is known to cause seizures (blinking or/and flashing)
9: Inaccessible Captcha– You must have an audio version, not just letters or images.
10: Accessible PDFs – CLICK HERE to for directions for changing Word into accessible PDFs. To add Alt Text to images, go into picture format, double click on the image and add the alt text in the dialog box.
11: Give links and 12: Give buttons descriptive names.
For a complete list of ADA Accessible website requirements, please CLICK HERE
Making your website ADA compliant is usually quite technical and requires the usage of code, eyes, and web developers. We Are Immediate can help you with Accessibility evaluation and provide you with recommendations for the most optimal solution for your business. Please contact us if you would like to set up a free consultation. 212-929-9980