The last year has made it clear that work as we know it, is going to continue to change. As more companies shift their workforce from the corporate office to the home office, the demand for online resources has reached a new peak. It’s imperative to ensure everyone has access to the information you provide on your website. This blog will discuss making your website ADA compliant. Have no fear, it isn't as daunting as it seems.
What is ADA?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act website, “The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.”
How does this apply to your website?
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is being interpreted to include websites as a place of public accommodation. Websites have information readily available 24/7. Courts have pointed entities to the Website Accessibility Initiative for support but there is no quick solution.
Does this apply to everyone?
It’s complicated, but should be assumed that it applies to everyone.
What are the consequences of not having an ADA compliant website?
Open yourself to potential litigation
Limit your audience to only patrons that do not need modifications
Your lose customers that want to work with companies that are inclusive and share their values
Steps to take to make your website ADA compliant:
Create a clear plan for compliance
Have it reviewed by your management team
Work with professionals that have experience in the space
Making your website accessible and compliant can feel overwhelming. The best first step is to check out the Website Accessibility Initiative’s checklist found here.
Looking over the list feels a little bit like drowning in technical terms. However, don’t wait to do at least something to start the process of making your site accessible and compliant. We have found some helpful tools to get you started.
UserWay a widget used on Wix websites to provide, “website accessibility solutions without refactoring your website's existing code and ensure a comprehensive legal & regulatory compliance framework covering ADA, Section 508, WCAG 2.1 AA, and much more.”
See UserWay platforms: https://userway.org/platforms
accessiBe makes thousands of websites accessible in the time it used to take to make just one. The possibility of an accessible Internet is finally a practical reality.
See accessiBe integrations: https://accessibe.com/integrations
Various platforms provide their own checklists for you to manually walkthrough the process of making their website accessible. Here are a couple examples:
After you have done SOMETHING it’s time to get serious. There is still concern that Widgets or simple copy and paste toolbars are not enough. Read more here. The safest possible way to make sure your website is compliant is to have a developer manually make changes referencing the WCAG 2.0 AA checklist. You can see the list broken down in a simply easy to read version here.
Here are some examples of websites that we have completed to be ADA compliant.
The task of making your website ADA compliant and accessible doesn’t have to be a major obstacle. There are many resources available to help you and your business’ website succeed. The pandemic has accelerated the digital push for businesses and services. We are evolving again and we have a responsibility to grow as the world changes. Although it may feel overwhelming now, the short term frustration to make your website accessible will reap long term benefits for your future clients, of all abilities, and your business.
If you’re looking to update your website and would like to ensure it’s ADA compliant, we would love to help!
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