Reasons Your Website Should be ADA Compliant in the New Year

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Reasons Your Website Should be ADA Compliant in the New Year

As we head into a new year, there are many opportunities to improve your company’s website to catch the attention of unique visitors. Everyone deserves the opportunity to browse your website equally, so making your website ADA Compliant is an absolute must. Adding this component will improve your site’s level of user-friendliness while increasing the potential of your company’s Internet presence and audience reach.  

What is ADA Compliance?

  In short, ADA Compliance means that your website is as accessible as possible to Americans with a range of disabilities. Examples could include, but are not limited to, people with the following: visual impairment, speech or hearing impairments, those who use screen readers or assistive technology, such as text to speech. If your website is not accessible, it makes it hard for people with disabilities to use your website. Additionally, you could be leaving yourself and your business vulnerable to a lawsuit.   In 2010, it was found that 11.9% of Americans had disabilities and that number has been increasing every year since. [1] In 2017, 28.3% of these disabled citizens had a hearing impairment, 18.5% reported a vision disability, and 37.8% cited a cognitive disability. [2] With statistics like these, the need to adhere to ADA guidelines to cater to individuals with disabilities is obviously becoming more and more important.   The American Disabilities Act (ADA) was founded in 1990 to prohibit discrimination against persons with various disabilities. This applies to website design, as your company could be subject to a lawsuit if certain criteria is not met. The industries most vulnerable to ADA Website Compliance lawsuits include the following:  
  • Attorneys
  • Doctors
  • Ecommerce
  • Hospitals
  • Education
  • Psychiatrists
  • Retail

How can I achieve ADA compliance for my website?

  Now that you know the meaning of ADA compliance, let’s talk about becoming ADA compliant.   When it comes to ADA compliance on websites, the go-to recommendation revolves around the WCAG 2.0 guidelines. This resource outlines several recommendations or goals for making your website ADA accessible to users across the U.S.   The core principles that guide WCAG include:  
  1. Perceivable
  Users should have the ability to perceive all the information that appears on your site, like text, images, video, and more. Even if a user can’t see your website’s text or listen to your website’s video, you need to provide an alternative.    
  1. Operable
  You want users to have the capabilities to navigate your site and use all its features. Any user, for example, should have the means to use your main navigation, as well as any site tools, like calculators.  
  1. Understandable
  Users should have the means to understand your website content. That means users can understand your site’s text, images, videos, and tools. For example, your site may include instructions for using a feature, like a calculator or a contact form.    
  1. Robust
  All users should have the ability to receive the same experience, even if using assistive technologies. People reading your content versus those using a voice reader, for example, should get the same content even if it’s delivered differently.     Now that you know all the ins and outs of ADA compliance, let’s take a look at the five reasons you should make this a priority for your company’s Internet presence.  

SEO Improvement

  Adding captions to photos or videos is an underrated component of ADA compliance, but it can do wonders for improving your SEO ranking. This gives web developers the opportunity to insert more targeted keywords to gain the benefits of a better SEO prospect. The increased accessibility will make your site more likely to reach the top results on Google and will undoubtedly draw more visitors to your website.    

Easy Navigation and Increased User-Friendliness

  Once your website is operating within ADA regulations, this will ensure more user-friendliness and a better experience when navigating webpages for everyone, not just visitors with disabilities. A clean design that makes it easy to find what people are looking for and is free of obvious flaws and glitches will make your users more likely to return in the future.  

Reputation Boost

    Your customers will take notice of the fact that you value all people and believe that they should be treated equally. ADA compliance shows your commitment to the consumer and your strength of character. This extra effort to create a sense of inclusivity is invaluable to your company’s overall reputation. For those with disabilities, they will be especially grateful for your efforts, and will be very likely to return to your website. They might even share your site with other people, telling them about their amazing experience. This will enhance your brand awareness, creating more traffic on your website.  

Avoiding Lawsuits

  Failure to comply with ADA guidelines could result in an unwanted lawsuit filed against your company. This is something you obviously want to avoid at all costs. If a disabled person is not able to access necessary information from your company’s website, they have the right to take you to court. Many well-known companies have been sued for their disregard for ADA compliance. This negligence could prove to be quite harmful to your company’s reputation as well.  

Do What’s Right

  It’s worth it to go the extra mile for customers with disabilities because it’s simply the right thing to do. All people deserve the same opportunity to access your website and all of its information. Disregarding these individuals deprives them of this opportunity and you will likely lose customers because of this neglect. Make your mark by addressing the issues of inclusivity and diversity.   Want to make sure your site is ADA compliant? Here at Social Spice Media, we can create a customized plan of action for your website. In fact, we offer a full ADA Web Compliance Installation that includes items such as an ADA Compliance Plugin, alternate text for images and graphics, conversion of PDFs to programmed webpages, maintenance updates, and many more services!   Social Spice Media can create an updated, eye-catching website to increase your company’s online success and credibility.  Packages start at $1,750, learn more and talk to us today!