ACCESSIBLE WEBSITE DESIGN
ADA Compliant Website Design
ADA compliance is not something generally associated with websites, but the rise of technology has led to the need for guidelines surrounding the accessibility of information on the Internet.
While skipping out on ADA compliant website won’t necessarily land you in jail, it could prompt a serious lawsuit against your company. In other words, you won’t have to worry about getting fined unless someone with visual impairments has trouble accessing your site and decides to sue you.
Target actually settled a class-action lawsuit for six million dollars due to their websites lack of accessibility to the blind. Following this, a string of lawsuits against other businesses were made for the same reason and companies began taking ADA compliant website design more seriously.
The enforcing ADA guidelines has made any business with a website a target for people on the hunt to sue. Incorporating practices that cater to the visually impaired will not only protect you from this, but it will also help you to sell to a larger audience.
While there isn’t a clear rulebook on what exactly an ADA compliant website encompasses, professional web designers will know the elements needed to be incorporated in order to accommodate the blind.
What is an ADA compliant website?
ADA compliance is a civil rights law instituted in 1990 to end discrimination in public areas against those with disabilities and provide disabled employees protection by requiring organizations to make “reasonable accommodations” for each of them.
As a result of the law, things like wheelchair ramps were installed at the entrances of organizations and other equality measures were taken by businesses. This was before the widespread use of the Internet took place and businesses began creating websites.
ADA compliant website requirements began in 2006 when a court ruled that websites were part of a business’ public offering and therefore subject to accessibility guidelines.
There aren’t clear rules or requirements outlined leaving the law open to interpretation, so if your failure to comply with ADA standards results in a lawsuit, the courts get to decide your fate.
Is an ADA compliant website mandatory for businesses?
When websites are created with no accessibility measures it’s usually not intentional. This inadvertent mistake could potentially cost business owners thousands of dollars in legal fees if their unlucky enough to get slapped with a lawsuit.
Not only would they have to settle a lawsuit, their public relations team would have to clean up the mess. They would also have to have a professionally reformatted ADA compliant website to replace the old one.
The U.S. Department of Justice has a list of guidelines outlining what an ADA compliant website entails, but it is not very detailed and can make knowing what needs to be incorporated to ensure accessibility difficult.
According to the ADA’s website, things like low color contrast, information displayed using only color, not including alternative texts on images or captioning on videos, and mouse only navigation would disqualify a business from having an ADA compliant website. Websites need to be created with built in software that ensures up-to-date accessibility measures.
What are the benefits of an ADA compliant website?
With an ADA compliant website, businesses demonstrate their ability to work with people of all kinds. It gives them a more reputable image and shows discriminatory practices are avoided.
Transforming a website to meet ADA compliant standards shows a company is willing to go to great lengths to make sure they can provide for anyone and everyone in need of their services.
Having an ADA compliant website allows companies to advertise to and attract more customers. Reaching a larger audience requires being able to accommodate one, and there are people in the world who rely on automations to understand information found on the Internet.
The bots and crawlers that scan web pages are huge fans of websites that are inclusive. Since more people are able to access an ADA compliant website’s content, Google will award accessible websites with a higher rank on search engine results pages (SERPs.)
Target a bigger audience
Making your website ADA compliant will give you the benefit of serving a larger number of people through more accessible means.
People who are blind or have visual impairments rely on screen readers to read the text on webpages, and those who can’t operate a mouse use software that allows them to type using voice commands.
A professional web designer well-versed in ADA compliance will be able to implement the necessary software needed for accessibility.
Don’t leave anyone out
Here at 11 Marketing + Design, we know how important ADA compliance is to avoid potential legal battles and want to save you the time and money in having to deal with them.
When you rely on us to build your ADA compliant website, we use software that allows us to design while keeping people with disabilities in mind. We want your website to be as easy to use as possible for everybody entering it.
No finger will be pointed at your business to claim discrimination when it comes to your website when you use our services. Our software ensures ADA compliance is in place and kept up to date.
Web developers have been graced with a set of guidelines released by the The World Wide Web Consortium that outline exactly what goes into being compliant with ADA standards means for websites.
These guidelines are focused around the blind, but also include provisions to take for those who use keyboard navigation systems or voice activated commands. those that are blind and use screen readers, those that have motor impairments and rely on keyboard navigation, and other disabilities including color blindness, epilepsy, and other minor visual impairments.
INCREASE SEO WITH ADA COMPLIANCE
ADA compliant websites generally rank higher than ones that lack inclusivity measures. This means when someone is searching for a business like yours and your website includes sufficient SEO strategies including ADA compliance, yours will be closer to the top than any of the competitors who neglected this step.
A higher rank on Google will inevitably increase traffic to your website and will especially stand out to users with disabilities who rely on ADA compliance to access the World Wide Web. Features on your website including meta tagging, video transcripts, and alternative image text will alert screen readers to your website’s accessibility and in turn, place it at a higher rank.
Need help making your website ADA compliant?
We can build an ADA Compliant website from scratch or, in some cases, even get your current website up to speed. Ask us about how it can add back to your bottom line at the end of the year.
How do you make a website ADA compliant?
Remember, being inclusive opens up your service area to a much wider range of potential clients. More people will be able to use your website and see what you have to offer. Investing in a website that is ADA compliant is a great business move, and comes with rewards.
At 11 Marketing + Design, we use a tool that allows us to seamlessly design any ADA compliant website. The software uses both artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to create accessible pages for those with disabilities.
What does an ADA compliant website look like?
While the software used to achieve compliance with screen readers and keyboard navigation systems primarily relies on automation, aspects relating to the design of a website that will accommodate those with minor impairments such as color blindness rely on the user interface (UI.) This has to do with the layout and formatting of your website.
If your website is colored in an unfavorable way and features little contrast, it will be difficult for users with color blindness to view the information being displayed.
Luckily, there is a foreground application within the program that allows us to design your website however you want, but gives users with specific disabilities the option to modify a number of settings to their liking.
Through the use of AI and automation, the software assists us with designing code to build a website that better accommodates people who require assistance to navigate through the Internet. The automation saves time, money, and the headache of trying to do it yourself.
ADA Compliance Through Automation
Something often overlooked in addition to ADA compliance is the maintenance of it. Websites are constantly undergoing changes and updates that affect various aspects of the format and can interfere with ADA compliance.
Using this automated program, your website will be scanned a minimum of once every 24 hours to ensure compliance with ADA guidelines. If it appears your website has fallen out of ADA compliance, problem areas will be remedied as quickly as possible with the use of artificial intelligence.
Some features on a website can be more difficult to make accessible than others including pop-ups, links, images, and more. Menus, icons, dropdowns, buttons, and forms are also elements of a website that need to be tailored to fit within ADA guidelines and can be done at 11 Marketing + Design.
ADA Compliant Website Design
Ensuring your website is accessible to everyone can only benefit you and your business.
On top of attracting a wider client base to your site, you are also building your reputation by telling people you are inclusive of everyone. It also helps rank your website higher through enhanced search engine optimization and appeals to Google as the company has been increasingly awarding websites that foster a good user experience.
If you want to optimize the accessibility of your website, come to the pros at 11 Marketing + Design.