The world has been evolving online for decades, moving so much awareness and daily life to a digital medium that websites are now legally bound to provide an equal experience to all hypothetical visitors, including those with disabilities such as blindness or deafness.
This means that in the same way that a handicapped individual has legal rights to an access ramp to enter a grocery store, so a legally blind or visually impaired person has rights to spoken text upon visiting your website.
What does it mean to have an ADA compliant website?
The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protect patients with disabilities and most recently has stepped up its rulings to include select websites as ADA compliant. The rules around ADA compliance are still blurry, but the general sentiment is that certain businesses are obligated to serve disabled visitors on their website as efficiently as they serve non-disabled visitors.
What types of disabilities affect website compliance?
ADA compliance for a website is specific to visitors who are deaf, blind, or in need of navigation through your site by voice. Thus, accommodations include text transcriptions, touchscreen Braille, audio transcripts, and automated website guidance.
Which businesses need to meet ADA compliance for websites?
- 20+ weeks/year in operation
- 15+ full-time employees
- Provide public accommodations (i.e. hotel, bank, public transport)
If your business is not currently at the status for the benchmarks above, but you intend to grow in this direction, it’s a good time to start accommodating your code and site to the ADA compliance standards. Not sure if your business qualifies as public accommodations? Ask our experts or check in directly with the ADA.
How to Make an ADA Compliant Website?
- Include an error-detection system that identifies a user making incorrect inputs and can offer a solution or recommendation to navigate the site as intended.
- Create text transcripts for audio and video components so a deaf visitor can read your presented content.
- Make your site layout as simple and clear as possible so that disabled visitors can navigate without a problem.
- Create audio transcriptions for written components so blind visitors can listen to your content.
- Include alt tags for all media; this allows visitors to choose their consumption method of choice of limited ability.
Get ahead of the game by making your site ADA compliant
The tangible rules of ADA compliance are currently vague, but they won’t be for long. It’s in your best interest to take steps for ADA compliance now, avoiding problems, lawsuits, and brand catastrophes in the future.
The best course of action to take depends on whether you are building a site from scratch or if you already have a successful site up and running. If you are building a fresh site, invest from the ground up in making your site ADA compliant, even if it adds to the initial sticker price of development.
If you already have a site you’re using, you can revamp the code you’re working with to ensure that as future rules are into lotion, your site is covered and all visitors feel welcomed and able to engage with your brand online.
Revamp or build your website to include ADA compliance elements with the help of a professional digital marketing firm. Executive Digital has decades of combined experience to ensure that not only is your site accessible and enjoyable for visually impaired and other disabled patrons but also optimized with these elements for search engine optimization.
Reach out to our team for a consultation and get started today.