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ADA Compliant Website Design: Reasons To have ADA Site Compliance

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Laxman Prajapati
December 11, 2019
make your website ADA compliant

Did you know?

1. In 2010, 11.9% of Americans had disabilities, and the percentage has increased every year.

 2. As of 2017, 28.3% of disabled U.S. citizens reported a hearing disability.

3. As of 2017, 18.5% of disabled U.S. citizens reported a vision disability.

4. As of 2017, 37.8% of disabled U.S. citizens reported a cognitive disability.

5. As of 2018, approximately 1-3% of the global population (roughly 200 million people, including 6.5 million Americans) have an intellectual disability.

6. Between 2017 to 2018, the number of website accessibility lawsuits roughly tripled from 814 to 2,258 cases. 

These statistics showcase that people with disabilities in the US alone has increased as time has gone by. To protect people with disabilities, the American Disabilities Act (ADA) came into existence in the year 1990 to prohibit discrimination against them.

These people faced discrimination when it came to:

  1. Employment

  2. State & local government

  3. Public accommodations

  4. Commercial facilities

  5. Transportation

  6. Telecommunications

The ultimate objective of the act was to come up with an all-inclusive, national mandate that eradicates discrimination against those with disabilities. With time, there has been a change in ADA. 

There was a time when only physical businesses, federal offices, and public realms were ensured that the goods and services sold by them were accessible to people with disabilities. This provision was there for physical accommodations like elevators and ramps which allowed people to get across the school, government facility or even a retail store. However, no one would have imagined its impact on the virtual environment. 

As time has passed, technology has reached a new benchmark, and with that, we are seeing businesses needing to have ADA compliant websites. Today, even online brick and mortar spaces on the internet have to take care that people with disabilities do not face any problems while accessing their websites. This phenomenon has become a real game-changer. If you are not in the game of meeting ADA requirements for websites, then you are deemed to lose the game in the long run. 

Keeping this perspective in mind, Elsner Technologies has always been an active participant in entertaining the requests of its clients when it comes to making their website ADA compliant. We confirm with the standards set by WCAG 2.0 – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in such a way that people with disabilities can effortlessly navigate through websites we design.

Do You want to Build ADA Compliance Website? Contact Us

A prime example of an ADA compliant website is when a visually-impaired person can order their groceries or access their bank account by using a screen reader or a screen reader plug-in like ChromeVox. 

W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) utilizes the WCAG and follows WCAG 2.0 Compliance in three levels:

  • A
  • AA
  • AAA

ADA Compliance levels

Image source: bostondigital.com

Note: WCAG AAA compliance is 100% in congruence with Section 508, which has a severe impact on the design, performance, and look/feel. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has already said that 508 compliance (AAA) is not practical. And so, A and AA will only be considered as acceptable standards.

Decoding Level A & AA WCAG Compliance

Unlike the ADA that provides a mandate towards fair treatment towards people with disabilities across various aspects of public life, the WCAG mainly concentrates on web accessibility. It provides guidelines to web developers who wish to develop websites that are more accessible to disabled users. 

There are in all 12 guidelines present in WCAG specifically for web accessibility, which have been condensed into four principles. Let’s look at them.

  1. Perceivable

  2. Operable

  3. Understandable

  4. Robust

1. Perceivable

According to this principle, you need to provide text options for non-text content. Do not forget to provide captions and other options for multimedia. The ultimate objective is to present the content in different ways like assertive technologies without losing the crux of the information.

2. Operable

All the functionality of the website should be accessed through keyboards. Ensure that the users get ample time to read and use the content. Ensure that the content is prepared in such a way that it does not cause a seizure. It should assist users in navigating quickly and searching for important content.

3. Understandable

The text should be kept in such a way that it is readable and comprehensible. Also, make sure that the content is depicted and operated in a predictable manner. It should assist users in avoiding and correcting mistakes. 

4. Robust

The website should be compatible enough with current and future user tools.

ADA Compliance Website Guide and Steps

 1. Ensure that the title of your website is exclusive, to the point, and describes the content of the page;

 2. The content needs to be readable and organized – Keep a minimum of one heading tag on every page of the website;

 3. Heading tags need to be in proper sequencing. For example, a page with headings listed as h2, h1, and h3 is unacceptable;

 4. If the text looks like a heading it needs to be marked as heading which should have relevance according to the content;

 5. The form controls and drop-down menus should be keyboard accessible;

 6. Ensure that there is sufficient contrast between text and background which makes the text easy to read; 

 7. There should be a contrast ratio of a minimum 4:5:1 for normal-size text;

 8. If the text is resized it should be in readable form;

 9. Add alt text for any multimedia, images or videos;

 10. Title frames with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation;

11. In case of timed out response, alert the users, and they should indicate more time is required;

12. Design the web pages in such a way that the information is depicted in the same with color as without color.

These are some of the steps to meet ADA web compliance.

Reasons to go for ADA compliant website

Now that you have the basic idea to meet the ADA site compliance let’s divert our attention to the reasons that make it imperative to go for ADA compliant website.

  • It Expands Your Outreach to the Target Audience

The key benefit of creating a website that fulfills ADA regulations is that it allows you to reach more people. For example, say 20% of the American population has some form of disability if you do not have an ADA compliant website, chances are, you will lose out on approximately 57 million people who can be your prospective target audience. At times people are searching for the goods and services that are selling online however, they are not able to reach you as your website is inaccessible to them.

  • It Improves SEO

Perhaps, the biggest reason for having an ADA compliant website is that it goes hand-in-hand with your SEO efforts. The SEO rules enable a website to reach the top results on Google when a user searches for a particular keyword connected to your business. This way, it improves the ranking and drives more traffic to your website. We have already emphasized that certain regulations need to be met to make your website ADA compliant

In the earlier sections, we have already discussed adding captions and other optional information for all the multimedia featured on the webpages. At the end of the day, you need to ensure that your images or videos have captions. This way, web developers can insert more targeted keywords and reap in the benefits of a better SEO prospect.

The other important thing is, ADA compliant websites should not have hidden backlinks especially in texts like “click here” or learn more” You need to be descriptive while placing a backlink which can ultimately have a positive impact on the number of keywords in the text.

  • It Ensures Effortless Navigation and More User-Friendliness

By developing your website using ADA regulations automatically ensures more user-friendliness and effortless navigation of webpages. Irrespective of your target audience, if you create a website that is operable without any apparent flaws, it will enable users to search for what they are looking for in a very quick manner. The end result would be that you will get more qualified leads to a customer base that is eager to come back because they will complete faith in your goods and services displayed on the website.

  • It Builds Your Reputation

If you create an ADA compliant website, your customers understand that you value all types of people, which increases your reputation. The fact that you have put in additional effort to have this website shows that you care about inclusion. The people with special abilities will surely appreciate your efforts. They may even share your site with others as it can assist them. This will enhance your brand awareness, ultimately resulting in driving more traffic. 

  • It Saves You From Lawsuit

Did you know that if a disabled person is not able to access the information required from your business’ website, they can drag you to the court? Yes, this is true. In fact, businesses, including Fordham University, Foot Locker, Brooks Brothers, and even Kylie Jenner have been sued for the lack of ADA compliant websites. Remember, by building an ADA compliant website, you are providing a more accessible and effortless reach to those with special abilities, which can save you from the possible hassles of a lawsuit.

  • It is the Right Thing to Do

Approximately 50 million people in the US are suffering from some or the other disability. Hence, it becomes essential for every small business owner to develop a website that can be accessed by all the people. If you are not doing this, chances are big of missing out on your mark while addressing the issues like inclusivity and diversity initiatives in your business. So, the right thing to do would be to develop a website that can be accessed by all the people across the country.

Are all Websites Created by Elsner ADA Compliant?

We create ADA compliant websites only after receiving special requests from them. We take care to put in extra efforts to ensure that the end results are in accordance with the requirements of our esteemed clientele. However, remember, just because we have created the website does not necessarily mean that it is going to be an ADA compliance website. The level of ADA compliance website needs to be agreed upon that is needed to be accomplished. 

If you need a similar thing done on your website, contact us today!

ADA Compliance Tools Used by Elsner Technologies

We use the following validation tools for ADA compliance:

http://fae.cita.uiuc.edu/

http://achecker.ca/

http://www.cynthiasays.com/

http://www.powermapper.com/products/sortsite/checks/accessibility-checks.htm

Note: Elsner uses these tools to confirm ADA compliance. If you have a preference for a different verification tool, do let us know.

Make Your Website ADA Compliant Today!

In this competitive online business era, give your website every possible chance to edge over others, and ensure that it works well for people with special abilities. Ensure that your company does not get into the unnecessary legal hassle for not being ADA compliant by taking care of all the necessary parameters. If you wish for an ADA compliant website, we can help you achieve this endeavor. 

Certain websites require less groundwork, while others need work from scratch. In either of these cases, we can help you. If you wish to go for an ADA compliant website without any redesigns, we will honor that. We understand that you have already invested a lot in creating your website and do not wish to put in additional resources we will help you with minimum fuss. 

Contact Elsner Technologies to learn more about our pricing and get helpful information without wasting your precious time. We can provide you with a quick report and a quote to get started with the project!