In the US, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all public accommodations and commercial facilities be accessible to those with disabilities. This includes websites. If you have a website, it needs to be ADA compliant or risk being sued for non-compliance. 

You can’t just do a quick fix either; your site must be fully optimized for accessibility from the ground up for this to work correctly. Here are three main areas that need attention to comply with these regulations.

Website Design

Your design should include features such as high contrast between text and background colors, increased font size on buttons and links (minimum 18 pt), alt tags on images containing alternate text descriptions of what is in the photos, etc. You can also ensure that your website is viewable on all screen sizes using responsive design. Your site should be W3C compliant as well.

Your content needs to be more than just accessible – it needs to make sense. You need to label everything properly so that screen readers can put together a coherent message for visually impaired users. You should also ensure your document structure is correct – all headings, subheadings, and other elements need to be correctly labeled (h1, h2, etc.).

Website Operating System

Your site needs to work with operating systems commonly used by visually impaired users, such as Jaws and Window-Eyes. You can also test your site with a screen reader to ensure that the content makes sense and is accessible. You can’t fix problems after the fact, so it’s vital to do this testing before going live.

The benefits of having an ADA-compliant website are many. The most important is accessibility from anywhere in the world for anyone with a disability. It includes individuals with visual impairments and hearing impairment, who suffer from motion sickness, or have other disabilities.

Your website should be the gateway to your business – making it ADA compliant ensures that this is possible for anyone. Luckily, these days there are sites you can visit and check if yours is compliant.

While at Accessibilitychecker.org, type your URL at the space and do a quick check. There is nothing as mind-settling as the feeling of being on the right track.

Website Code

This includes ensuring that any text on your site generated by code (as opposed to being entered by the user) complies with the above rules regarding font size and color contrast.

It’s a good idea to have the text generated by code in a different color from static content so that it stands out. This ensures that users know that the content was auto-generated and not entered manually.

Accessibility Device Testing

Before you launch your website, it should be tested using assistive technology like screen readers to ensure it’s accessible to those with physical disabilities. Be sure to try using both JAWS and Window-Eyes because each screen reader works a little differently.

Website Accessibility Audit

Once your site is live, you should perform a Website Accessibility Audit. It ensures that nothing has changed since the initial launch, which could render your site inaccessible for those with disabilities. You can also use it to ensure your site passes WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance.

A website that isn’t ADA compliant will severely negatively impact your business. It’s not just about being accessible; it’s about showing the world that your company is committed to total inclusivity for everyone, not just those with physical disabilities.

The benefits of having an ADA-compliant website are many. The most important is accessibility from anywhere in the world for anyone with a disability.

It includes individuals with visual impairments and hearing impairment, who suffer from motion sickness, or have other disabilities. Your website should be the gateway to your business. Making it ADA compliant ensures that this is the case for everyone.

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