It is now the year 2020 and the vast majority of companies are increasingly becoming more advanced in the digital world. With this advancement, you as a company owner, need to ensure that your website is accessible to all people. As many of you have heard all websites need to be ADA compliant. This shouldn’t be a task to push off to a later time, this is something that needs to be taken seriously now.
No matter what type of business you have or what type of industry you are in, giving your user the best experience should be one of your main goals. Websites that are not mobile optimized, load slowly, and or play music when you load their home page, are not giving your user the best experience or impression. Along these same lines, all websites need to be ADA compliance now as well. Which would provide an overall positive experience for all users who browse your website.
What is the American Disabilities Act (ADA)?
Let’s first start with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), which became law in 1990. The act was put into effect to prohibit discrimination against anyone with a disability. This means that all individuals under this act should have the same accessibility that anyone else has. This includes all areas such as schools, jobs, public and private places that are open to the general public and also the internet. This includes all websites and mobile apps as well. Anyone with a disability such as hearing, vision, or any physical problem, should not has issues browsing your website.
What is ADA Website Compliance?
Under the ADA act, many people started making accommodations in a physical sense. Which would include Braille on signs, ATM’s, and elevator buttons. However, that does not cover all individuals under this act. Therefore, stricter rules needed to be enforced so that all individuals have the same rights in all aspects of life. This includes the internet as well, as stated earlier, which headways into our next topic of what is ADA Website Compliance?
ADA Website Compliance is creating a website that has pages that are accessible to all individuals with disabilities. This includes all web content that is available for the deaf, blind, and individuals who must navigate with their voice. The ADA is the legal and compliant side, the accessibility is the developmental side. In each of these, ask yourself these questions: Are you compliant with the act? And is your website accessible to anyone with a disability?
The Legal Side of ADA Website Compliance?
Did you know that in 2018, there were over 2,200 cases filed on websites that were not compliant with this act? And over $6 million dollars were paid in settlements. With this data and a rise in cases, it is time to ensure your website is following the laws in this act, not only for the legal reasons but most importantly to provide the best user experience to all individuals.
You can check the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to view a list of criteria that can be followed to become ADA compliant. Please feel free to contact us as well and we would be happy to discuss.
ADA Website Compliance Criteria can include:
- Alt Text
- Audio Description
- Closed Captioning
- Text Transcripts
- Descriptive Headers and Links
- Scalable text
- And many more
Here are 3 Reasons to be ADA Website Compliant
With an ADA compliant website, you increase your target audience. There are millions of people with disabilities throughout the country that you could be missing out on reaching. What if someone with a hearing or vision problem landed on your site, would they be able to navigate easily? Or would they bounce off quickly because they could not access the site with ease? This is not only bad for your bounce rate for SEO purposes, but also for your business overall.
ADA Website Compliance Improves SEO
Did you know that ADA Website Compliance does affect your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Many items discussed on the WGAC website, such as alt text, meta tags, and contrast can contribute to better SEO results. Which can lead to more traffic, if you keep up with the SEO standards.
Legal Action Against your Company
In the past, the ADA act did not seem to focus on the internet, as it was not as widely used. But increasingly since 2017 and on, there has been a crackdown on sites that are not ADA compliant. Since this law has been in effect, any page added after that must be compliant. The safest and easiest solution is to ensure your website is accessible to all with the proper criteria. This will not only provide a better experience but also avoid a lawsuit. These can range anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. If you do not, not only will you pay the fine, you will also have to make your website accessible.
Contact us to learn more about ADA Website Compliance
It’s the start of the new year and decade, why not start it out worry-free and implement the tips above and make your website ADA compliant. If you have any questions and would like to further discuss ADA Website Compliance, please feel free to contact us and we will be glad to help.
Remember, it not only is a law, but it also allows millions of people with disabilities to access your website. Good luck!