To keep consumers protected, new laws and regulations have been written to be followed by all businesses, even commercial websites.
Is your website ADA compliant?
The ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act applies not just to regular businesses but also to websites. This comprehensive law specifies that websites should also be accessible to people with physical disabilities.
Keep in mind that there could be users that visit your site using unconventional devices like audio scanners or text readers. If your website is not designed to cater to all kinds of users, you will lose the opportunity to reach a wider type of audience.
To make sure you avoid this situation and even a potential lawsuit, take some time to create a more accessible website.
Here’s what you can do:
Do a quick check on the current state of your website.
If your website is already up and running, you still have time to do some repairs.
The first step is to determine if your site is already ADA-compliant. If you had it done by a web developer, who specifically designed it to be accessible to all, then you should have no problem.
To check the compliance status of your site, use tools such as this Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool. This free online service does a quick analysis of your page to see which areas need to be improved or changed.
Contact an ADA agency.
The sad truth is, not all web developers are aware of this act.
If your web designer or developer doesn’t have the proper knowledge, you might want to contact an ADA agency to give you the full 101 on accessibility.
Look for agencies that have experience with the platform you use – whether it is Shopify, WordPress, etc. When you have found the right agency, they can connect you with contacts to help you with your issue.
Start the audits and repairs.
Once you have determined the areas of concern that need changing, it’s to get some work done. Typically, the web developer or agency will communicate with you what needs to be repaired. Some of the most common issues that need correction include:
- Putting alternative text on the images for visitors who are unable to see the photos. The alternative text should clearly describe the images on your pages.
- Proper labelling on forms, especially for e-commerce sites.
- High contrast for audio and images to make it easier for visitors to understand posts.
Stay up-to-date with changes.
Keeping your website ADA compliant can be a lot of work, especially if you already have a lot of content up that needs to be changed.
However, it is always a smart business move to follow the rules.
Like other laws, the ADA can also change and evolve.
Make sure to stay-up-to-date with the changes and adjust accordingly. Make it a point to periodically check the status of your website.
This may add in extra effort from you but having an ADA-compliant website gives you an advantage over your competitors and also improves the overall performance of your site.