Website ADA Compliance

Checklist & Guide for Websites ADA Compliance

ADA compliance for your website is becoming a higher priority each year as more and more people rely on the internet as their main channel for finding goods and services to purchase. You can find almost anything online now. With the ever-expanding nature of the web, one of the biggest issues for webmasters is making sure that their websites are ADA compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act) and adopt web accessibility standards that make them handicap friendly & easy to use for all.

Additional Website ADA Compliance Information

What is ADA Compliance?

In 1990, the government passed the Americans with Disabilities Act, which “prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life — to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services…” While the original document does not contain information related to websites, it is important that any online business or service be accessible for those that have vision/hearing disabilities.

In recent years, businesses like Foot Locker, GNC, and Winn-Dixie have been taken to court with a website ADA compliance lawsuit due to their websites not being ADA compliant. In the case of GNC,  the defendant “could not add items to his online shopping cart, access the store locator, or read the deals and promotions. Because the website’s content was not labeled properly, Gomez’s screen reader did not work correctly.” The court decision was that “Purchasing a product online is a service that, in part, forms the nexus between the Website and GNC’s physical stores. The record shows that accessibility issues prevent [the defendant] from purchasing products. Because the inaccessibility of the Website prevents [the defendant] from fully enjoying a service of the physical store, GNC is discriminating against [the defendant] and violating the ADA.”

To make things even more complicated, there are no official ADA guidelines for website accessibility. However, there is growing support for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 which classifies 3 levels of accessibility (A-AAA) and focuses on four main ideas.

WCAG Four Main Areas

Perceivability – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. Text alternatives for non-text content like images. Videos should contain captions. Text on the screen should be properly contrasted from background elements and check text with image contrast for ADA compliance.

Operability – User interface components and navigation must be operable. All website functionality should be available by using a keyboard. Users should have enough time to read and use site content. Content should not cause seizures. There should be elements that help users navigate the page.

Understandability – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable. Websites should be readable and understandable by screen readers. Web pages should appear and be operable in predictable ways. Websites should use input assistance to help users avoid and correct mistakes.

Robustness – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. Site content should be compatible with current and future assistive technologies.

Levels of Accessibility for Website ADA Compliance

There are three levels of WebsiteADA compliance with the WCAG standard (WCAG 2.0/2.1).

Level A – The lowest standard. The quickest and easiest way to be compliant.

Level AA – A more comprehensive compliance and has been seen as the most appropriate standard for websites.

Level AAA – The strictest compliance standard.

If you are seeking to make your current or future website ADA compliant, it is important that you seek experts that understand the different levels and guidelines of the WCAG, as well as understand how current website design can help or hinder accessibility to users with blindnesslow visioncolor blindness, or hearing difficulties.

Website ADA Compliance Checklist

To this end, we are able to ensure that a website:

  1. Provides text alternatives for all non-text content.
  2. Provides synchronized alternatives for multimedia.
  3. Ensures that information and structure can be separated from presentation.
  4. Makes it easy to distinguish foreground information from its background.
  5. Makes all functionality operable via a keyboard interface.
  6. Allows users to control time limits on their reading or interaction.
  7. Allows users to avoid content that could cause seizures due to photosensitivity.
  8. Provides mechanisms to help users find content, orient themselves within it, and navigate through it.
  9. Helps users avoid mistakes and make it easy to correct mistakes that do occur.
  10. Makes text content readable and understandable.
  11. Makes the placement and functionality of content predictable.
  12. Supports compatibility with current and future user agents. (including assistive technologies)
  13. Ensures that content is accessible or provides an accessible alternative.
  14. Use third-party ADA compliance plugins to help identify issues.

Do I need ADA Compliance on my website?

ADA compliance refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in areas of public accommodation, including websites. If you own a business or organization with a website that is open to the public, it is likely that your website should be compliant with ADA guidelines.

There are specific ADA compliance guidelines and standards that must be followed in order to make a website ADA compliant. These guidelines cover a wide range of issues, including website accessibility, website design, and website content. It is important to familiarize yourself with these guidelines and to take steps to ensure that your website is compliant with ADA guidelines.

If you are unsure whether your website needs to be compliant with ADA guidelines, you may want to consult with an attorney or a web design professional who is familiar with these guidelines. They can provide you with guidance on how to make your website compliant with ADA guidelines and can help you to identify any potential issues that may need to be addressed.

Need Help with ADA Web Compliance? Give Us A Call

At CaliNetworks, we have experience working with all sizes of businesses (from small service sites with 100-200 users to multi-billion dollar e-commerce giants) in various industries to address website accessibility issues and become WCAG 2.0 compliant. If you are a business owner that is looking to be ADA web compliant and improve the accessibility of your current website, or want to ensure that your new website is up to the WCAG standard, please contact us today for a consultation. (805) 409-7700

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