17 Feb How To Tell If Your Website is ADA Compliant
Now that ADA compliance
for websites is becoming a necessity, it’s important to know whether your website is indeed compliant to the law, or if you’ll need to make changes to your website to meet ADA standards. Below we’ll also show you examples of websites that are ADA compliant and then explain what can be done to ensure that your website meets those standards.
The ultimate objective of ADA compliance is a website that will be easily accessible for any and all users, including those who are visually or hearing impaired or who have other disabilities. To be able to share your website with all audiences, adjustments to your site will most likely need to be made, which will vary anywhere from the conversion of PDFs to close captioning for video. Below, we’ll cover each of those ADA compliance adjustments for you.
Ease of Access
Websites need to have ease of access for individuals who navigate websites by voice, screen readers, and other assistive technologies. This may mean that your website will need to be updated with new technologies to allow for this ease of access and accommodation. The term “ease of access” means that all website users have the capabilities to easily view or listen to descriptions of all the pages of your website.
One example of how your site might not grant all users ease of access would be the lack of a text reader. The installation of a text reader on your website allows for users who are visually impaired and other persons with disabilities to navigate your webpage easily because they are able to hear text descriptions. The use of a text reader is not just beneficial for persons of disabilities; any person with access to your web browser can use a text reader if you’ve installed one, and many non-disabled people appreciate access to this tool as well.
Alt Tags for Images
For images to be ADA compliant, you will need to create alt tags for them. These tags will allow disabled users the ability to hear alternative descriptions of images and site content that they are not able to view due to a disability. Alt tags not only give descriptions of parts of your site visually, but they also provide explanations for the functions of different parts of your site. Below is an example of a website design for a hotel that has had an ADA software integrated into its layout, giving the user screen reading capabilities:
A description of the bedroom picture itself is read aloud to the viewer as well as the description sections below the picture using the screen reader function. A screen reader in combination with alt tags created for images are some of the most important components that disabled viewers use to navigate a website.
If you don’t have a screen reader or alt tags installed in the design of your website, it is most likely not ADA compliant, putting you at great risk for lawsuits. If your website relies heavily on the use of images, creating alt tags for all images is a good idea as it will allow your site to be accessible on all fronts. The installation of a screen reader is also a necessity for ADA compliance.
Conversion of PDF’s
The PDF conversion is another way for you to make your website follow ADA standards and to avoid potential lawsuits. If your site contains PDF’s that are viewed regularly, here are some ways that the redesign of your PDF’s will make them compliant:
• All images within the document have alt tags
• All graphs and tables have headings
• All headings and subheadings are correct semantically
• There is a logical order to the document
Closed Captioning and Transcription of Videos
Persons who are hearing impaired will need closed captioning on any videos that are on your website, meaning that transcription for all video should be made. If your site relies heavily on videos, creating closed captioning will allow your site to meet ADA standards. Closed captioning is not only helpful for persons with hearing disabilities but for anyone who is not able to use sound or would rather read text while a video is playing.
Failure To Comply
If a website owner fails to comply with ADA law, they could potentially face lawsuits not just for their website as a whole, but for each specific infraction. This can potentially add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Adam Uzialko, a reviewer for Business News Daily, writes, “Failing to comply with the ADA means your business is susceptible to lawsuits, and it's common for attorneys to seek out noncompliant businesses both in the physical and digital space…the costs of an ADA lawsuit add up quickly.”
Most businesses with websites will be affected by ADA law if they haven’t been already. Any business with more than 15 employees or that operates for more than 20 weeks out of the year will need to make sure that their website is ADA compliant.
ADA software is a very useful tool for website owners to allow for full accessibility for disabled persons. Social Spice Media has developed a software that is perfect for all users, and is convenient for website owners:
With the installation of our ADA software, all website users will have full ease of access to any page of a website. Varying forms of assistance are available through software such as:
• Keyboard Navigation
• Read Aloud Option
• Contrast Adjustment
• Highlight Of Links
• Text Size Adjustment
• Text Spacing Adjustment
• Font Legibility Adjustments
• Stopping Of Animations
• A Larger Cursor Option And Reading Guide
• A Page Structure Format
• The Ability To Move Or Hide The Software Itself
Get in Touch with An Expert
The examples shown above can help you determine if your website is ADA compliant and also give examples of some ways to make your website meet ADA standards if it is not already. However, to ensure your website is protected from legal issues regarding accessibility, you should consider having an expert in ADA Compliance redesign your website to fit the WCAG guidelines.
Social Spice Media can help develop and manage your business’s social media presence and website for optimal accessibility. We currently have ADA compliance packages
starting at $1,750 and are able to install ADA software like the one seen in the examples above.
Do you know someone who could benefit from our services? Refer
them to us today! Our team is eager to connect with businesses in any industry. We serve the local needs of Ventura County and Santa Barbara as well as anywhere in the United States.