If you asked a random number of website owners about ADA guidelines, a good number of them would draw a blank. Some may not even be able to tell you what the ADA is. But, not understanding what ADA compliance is could have serious consequences for your business. This is why you need to get familiar with those guidelines today and do everything you can to abide by them. Here are some of the things the team of experts at accessiBe had to say about what ADA compliance means, and what you can do to be compliant.
What is ADA Compliance?
ADA compliance is a set of guidelines to make websites more accessible. The Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design was passed in 2010 with this goal in mind and is a continuation of the ADA act of 1990. The only issue back then was that consumer internet was still in its infancy and clear guidelines could not be devised then. This is why the act of 2010 was created.
Who Does this Apply to?
Any state or government agency has to make sure that their website is ADA compliant. Any business with more than 15 employees is also mandated by law to make its website accessible. Businesses operating for the benefit of the public have to be compliant as well.
Know, however, that you can still get in trouble if you don’t fall under these categories. Someone could file a lawsuit against you because your website isn’t accessible. Even if it wasn’t your goal to discriminate against them, you could still have to pay thousands of dollars in damages.
How Can I Become Compliant?
Now that you know a bit more about ADA compliance, you need to take the steps to make sure that your site abides by it. While the U.S. Justice Department still hasn’t released official ADA guidelines, most will look at the WCAG 2.0 guidelines to assess whether a site is accessible. The WCAG guidelines are based on 4 main principles: perceivability, operability, robustness, and understandability.
Perceivability is the ability of people to perceive any information that is on your website whether it’s video, text, or images. It’s your responsibility to provide an alternative for anyone who can’t see text on your website or listen to videos.
Operability is a measure of how easy it is to navigate the website. This means that any user should be able to get from point A to point B without the use of a mouse or scrolling a screen.
Robustness is about giving the same experience to everyone. For instance, people who use voice reading software should get the same content as those reading.
Finally, understandability is about how easy features on your site are to understand and operate. This means making commands as simple as possible and including instructions on how to use certain forms and functions in some cases.
If you want to make sure that you tick all the right boxes, you have many options. You can do a test yourself, hire someone, or use tech tools. A tool like accessiBe can be used to assess the state of your website and make adjustments in real-time using nothing but a line of code. This could be the best option for someone with limited resources and understanding of web design or ADA compliance.
If you initially had no idea what ADA compliance meant, we hope we were able to help. This is something that should be a priority for any website owner, so ensure that you make the proper corrections as soon as possible for the sake of your users and business.