One of the essential pieces of civil rights legislation is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In the business world, this usually means that the offices need to be adapted for wheelchairs with ramps, elevators, automatic doors, etc. However, this act is applied to the internet, as well. In today’s world of business, websites are equal to offices, terminals, ATMs, etc. They need to be accessible to people with disabilities – on all devices. That’s why it is important to make your website ADA compliant and make sure to uphold certain standards.
Reasons to make your website ADA compliant
- If you make your website ADA compliant, you improve your SEO. Adapting your website means it will be easily opened by different browsers and devices, which will increase website value and lead to more advanced and successful SEO.
- You will reach more target audience. A website that is not ADA compliant can cost you a lot of potential clients/website visitors. If more people can visit your website, you will reach more target audience. That’s why to make your website ADA compliant is not only responsible but also beneficial for your business.
- You won’t receive penalties – since ADA compliance is necessary, if you don’t make your website ADA compliant, you can receive penalties and be sued as well.
How to make your website ADA compliant – where to start?
To make your site ADA compliant, it is important to know the state of your website. You can evaluate the website manually (with a screen reader) or by using a particular program. Ada provided specified guidelines on optimizing sites, which can help you a lot. Your website needs to be operable, perceivable and understandable by the people with disabilities. The appropriate tools can help you audit your website and check what places need optimization.
Hire an ADA Agency
To make sure the optimization is done right, you need to find a company that works with the type of platform that you need. The agency can use the report you got earlier and estimate what needs to be done. Be sure to sit down with your agency’s representative and talk about the plan and create a budget.
Check the alt tags
When trying to make your website ADA compliant, one of the items you need to do first. And that is checking the alt-text of your images. All of the pictures in the code of your website need to have appropriate alt-text. This alt-text will be later used by readers to describe a picture to a website user.
Correct the fonts
Some of the fonts may look interesting to you; however, they could be hard to read. That’s why it’s best to use fonts that are easy to understand such as Open Sans, Georgia and others. You should think about the color and the contrast, too. If words and background are in similar colors, or both are light/dark – the text will be challenging to read. The best way to optimize the fonts to make your website ADA compliant is to use a light background with dark fonts – it will create a good contrast that is easy to recognize and read.
Add captions to videos
Since some users can’t see a video, you can help them understand it without having to watch it. That means including captions to videos, that will be used by readers to describe them.
Help the users read your texts
As some of your users can’t read the text, you can include the link to text transcripts. This way they could use special readers to help them interpret your articles. Furthermore, you should organize the headings correctly and make a logical structure of the content you create. That is an important step when you try to
Optimize your website for keyboard
As not all users can visit your site using a touchscreen device or a mouse, it needs to be optimized for the keyboard. That means that users can navigate the website using the keyboard, as well as stop or pause videos, etc. That’s why automatic videos are not a good idea, along with the time-limit ones. This way you will allow your users easily browse your website and watch your content just by using their keyboards.
Allow your users to report issues
To make your website ADA compliant the best way and create a lot of responsive web design and SEO, let the users help you out. If your website generates a lot of content, you probably won’t cover everything, and there will be some issues. That’s why we advise allowing your website users to report any problems they might find while using the website. This way you will show that you care about your users’ opinion and find a way to correct the mistakes. The best way to make your website ADA compliant is by adapting it to the people that want to use your website and read your content.
Never stop trying to make your website ADA compliant
It takes time and money to make your website ADA compliant. However, the work is never finished. As more new technologies are coming up to help the people with disabilities, ADA will propose new changes that you should follow. Therefore, never stop updating and checking for further changes and things you can do to improve your website.
You should also know this
As you make it easier for all your users to access your content, you are not only showing responsibility. You are also improving the overall website and engaging with your audience. Maintenance and optimization of your website should be a regular thing you should do, as internet changes with each click. Make your website a pleasant place everyone can use and enjoy. Improvement of your website should be a permanent decision, and your focus at all times.