The Americas with Disabilities Act (ADA) was written into law in 1990. It guarantees that people with disabilities will have equal opportunity concerning employment, transportation, public accommodations, state and local government services, and telecommunications. In 2010 the Department of Justice published the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. These standards ensure that all information technology is accessible to disabled people. All websites must be compliant, so how do you ensure that your site meets the requirements?
5 Things to Check For
You can perform a quick accessibility audit to determine if your website supports users with disabilities. According to the ADA, a must be compliant within four categories: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. Here are a few basic things to check for:
Alternative Text for Images
An image on a website will need to be accessible to blind users, which is the purpose of alt text. It’s an invisible description of the image that’s read aloud to blind users on a website. A website without alt tags would not be accessible to a blind person.
Clear Labels for Forms
Forms on a website should be clearly labeled. Placeholder text in the form field will assist visually impaired users. Placeholders are the ideal choice as they occupy less space on the page while still providing the necessary information.
HTML is HyperText Markup Language, and it’s the language used to create a web page. HTML tags are hidden keywords that define the formatting and content displayed on your website. Tags have an open and closing part. So, for example, something like a button to click would need to be labeled clearly as a button.
Graphics on your website should not flash more than three times per second. A faster rate of flashing can trigger seizures if someone is browsing your website. Graphics also require a description that can be read out loud to some that’s visually impaired.
Easy to Navigate and Logical
Make sure there’s a clear way to X out of the screen. Menu items should be plainly labeled so the user can find what they’re looking for easily. The media should be captioned for the hearing impaired. Work with a Professional
When in doubt, always check with a professional. There are many web agencies and designers that specialize in ADA compliance. They can perform an audit on your site to assess where you are and guide you through the steps of becoming compliant.
ADA Compliance Benefits Everyone
The site browsing experience should feel seamless for anyone that visits your site. Ensuring that your site meets ADA standards will make your website available to all users. More users can lead to more conversions. It will also decrease the chances that your site will be penalized.