ADA Compliance – Checklist & Guide for Websites

Americans with Disabilities Act (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 and adopt web accessibility standards that make them handicap friendly & easy to use for all.

Is your Website ADA Compliant?

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 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.

ADA Compliance Test Visibility Example

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 ADA Compliance

There are three levels of compliance with the WCAG 2.0 standard.

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 blindness, low vision, color blindness, or hearing difficulties.

ADA Compliance Checklist

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

  • Provides text alternatives for all non-text content.
  • Provides synchronized alternatives for multimedia.
  • Ensures that information and structure can be separated from presentation.
  • Makes it easy to distinguish foreground information from its background.
  • Makes all functionality operable via a keyboard interface.
  • Allows users to control time limits on their reading or interaction.
  • Allows users to avoid content that could cause seizures due to photosensitivity.
  • Provides mechanisms to help users find content, orient themselves within it, and navigate through it.
  • Helps users avoid mistakes and make it easy to correct mistakes that do occur.
  • Makes text content readable and understandable.
  • Makes the placement and functionality of content predictable.
  • Supports compatibility with current and future user agents. (including assistive technologies)
  • Ensures that content is accessible or provides an accessible alternative.

Need Help with ADA Compliance? Give Us A Call

At CaliNetworks, we have experience working with all sizes of business (from small service sites with 100-200 users to multi-billion dollar e-commerce giants) in various industries address accessibility issues and become WCAG 2.0 compliant. If you are a business owner that is looking to 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


CaliNetworks did a phenomenal job on our newly created site. Massimo was professional, highly responsible and a pleasure to work with. Prior to the site’s creation, he went thru all of our company specific needs and discussed various options with me. His creative ideas yielded a successful product. I highly recommend this group.
Rico Saken
Rico Saken
20:35 10 Oct 19
Our company recently acquired the services of CaliNetworks to help us with boosting our digital footprint, and we couldn't be happier with our choice! It feels like the CaliNetworks team gives us exclusive attention, and is always there when we need them most. Any issues that we have is resolved immediately, and they are extremely prompt with deadlines. They are a wonderful company with a stellar staff and I would highly, highly, recommend them!!
TriMed Marketing
TriMed Marketing
21:05 30 Aug 19
Massimo and his team are exceptional in every way. They are quick, thorough, affordable, and they go above and beyond to make sure you're happy with the final product. There have been many evenings where they stayed late just to make sure my page was the way I needed it. I guarantee you won't be disappointed in their work and creativity. I highly recommend CaliNetworks. 5 Stars!!!!
Diane Ballot
Diane Ballot
17:54 19 Aug 19
A great company. CaliNetworks has a great team to work with. They are very responsive and accommodating. You can't go wrong retaining CaliNetworks.
Paul Tashnizi
Paul Tashnizi
20:51 08 Aug 19
These guys were simply awesome. Super responsive, no drama. No issues. Just straight up excellent work that ended up better than I expected. Will be back soon!
Jay Lieberman
Jay Lieberman
23:12 25 Jul 19
An amazing experience working with Ty Carson and his team. I highly recommend Cali Networks for any website projects in both consulting and/or execution of your ideas.Great experience with Massimo from the intro, quote, progress and communication throughout the project. Ty and his team bring your ideas and content to life! Their first drafts were in line with our expectations. They did a phenomenal job working with our team to develop a very strong visual and textual presentation of our company. We and our clients are very pleased with the finished product. By far, the best response time of any online company we've worked with on technical support or any modifications we request. We appreciate their ongoing professional suggestions, feedback, and quality assurance. Not only Ty and his team are skilled and professional, but they are also very service-minded and take their time to understand the vision from the big picture to the smallest detail. In addition, they have made some great recommendations that we gladly utilize and love. I have no qualms about giving them my best recommendation and will definitely consider them for future projects. My business and life will forever be enhanced by this knowledgeable team. I can't wait to develop future projects as I know our vision was respected and exalted professionally. Special thanks to Massimo for his ongoing guidance and expertise.
Inna Pinkhasova
Inna Pinkhasova
00:43 17 Jul 19
Massimo was an amazing person! We had no idea how to set up a website or email addresses for our company and max did it with no problem! He was very patient with us in explaining all the details and always was on top of everything no matter the time and he was very dedicated to making our vision a reality! I highly recommend this guy over any other company. EIFC couldn’t do it with out him. EIFC will staying working with him for all our needs. Top professional in all aspects.
Kevin Marquez
Kevin Marquez
21:40 13 May 19