Website ADA Compliance

ADA Compliant Web Design

Looking for a web development company to assist you with your ADA Compliant website design? No matter if you have a WordPress, Joomla, Laravel, BigCommerce, Shopify, or Magento website, the professional web developers and designers at WebCitz can design your website so that it meets all ADA compliance standards.

We can even improve the accessibility of your already developed website if you'd like to keep the site you already have, but make improvements to it!

Although having an ADA compliant website is primarily intended to benefit users with disabilities, having an ADA compliant website really benefits all website users.

A Few of Our Web Developers

WebCitz is a USA-based web agency with 19 dedicated team members. WebCitz does not outsource projects!

Chris L Chris L

Chris L

In Industry Since 2014

Taylor D Taylor D

Taylor D

In Industry Since 2011

Emily L Emily L

Emily L

In Industry Since 2014

David W David W

David W

In Industry Since 2004

Kyle H Kyle H

Kyle H

In Industry Since 2005

Justin F Justin F

Justin F

In Industry Since 2009

What is an ADA Compliant Website?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, was put in place to ensure that people with all kinds of physical and cognitive disabilities have access to the same services, accommodations, and facilities as others. This also includes the way websites are developed for the general public.

In 2010, the Department of Justice revealed that it intended to modify its ADA legislation to take into consideration how websites should work to assist people with disabilities. Then in 2016, the Department of Justice announced that the University of California, Berkeley needed to adopt the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in order to make their website accessible. The guidelines set forth by the World Web Consortium are now regarded as the standard.

In short, an ADA-compliant website is a website designed for all users. An ADA-compliant website permits anyone with a disability to use your website. This leads to your website being inclusive to all users, which will ultimately improve traffic, conversions and growth for your business.

It's important to recognize that having an ADA-compliant website helps not only those with disabilities, but everyone. Hiring web developers who design websites according to usability guidelines and best practices benefits all users. Below are just some of the ways that the web development team at WebCitz can make your website compliant with ADA standards.

How to Make Your Website ADA Compliant

1. Evaluate Your Current Website

To get started, you will want to get in touch with web developers who have a solid understanding of ADA compliance. Your web developers will review your current website for ways to make your website ADA compliant. In some cases, it might be best to simply redesign your website if numerous issues exist in the current website. The four standards an ADA website developer strives for is to ensure your website is:

Perceivable

Operable

Understandable

Robust

In addition, you will want to ensure your website meets the guidelines set by ada.gov. Talk with your web development team about how you can make your website ADA-compliant according to these guidelines.

How to Make Your Website ADA Compliant
Select ADA-Compliant Graphics and Add ALT Text to Graphics

2.Select ADA Compliant Graphics & Add ALT Text to Graphics

To stay compliant with ADA standards, you will also want to choose your graphics and animations carefully. For example, your web development team should ensure that the graphics on your website do not flash more than three times per second to reduce risk in those with seizure disorders.

In addition, photos and graphics should have a description or a caption that can be read out loud to those who are visually impaired. To go along with this, you will always want to add descriptive ALT text to photos and graphics so that site readers can read the ALT text out loud to users with visual impairments.

Use Readable Website Fonts

3. Use Readable Fonts

Another aspect to consider for your ADA-compliant website is typography. You will want to use readable fonts such as Georgia and Open Sans which are clear and easy to read. In addition, you will want to take into consideration contrast of font colors and background colors. For example, yellow text on a light background is difficult for most users to read, not to mention those who are color blind or visually impaired.

Discuss with your web developer about using clear typography and making sure your website features light backgrounds with dark text for ease of readability.

Make All Website Elements Understandable

4. Make All Website Elements Understandable

Your ADA-compliant website also needs to be understandable to your users. This means that your site should follow standards in navigation, popups, and other elements of your website. For example, you will want a clear "X" in the upper right corner of your popup window, to visibly show to users how they can close a modal window. Your web developer should carefully design the elements on the website to reduce user error.

Use Standard HTML Tags

5. Use Standard HTML Tags

An assistive reader should be able to read each element of the website. As a result, you will want your ADA-compliant website to be designed using standard HTML tags. In addition, you will also want your website to provide documents in a text-based format. Fortunately, most website CMS platforms such as WordPress were developed to operate using a modern code format with standard HTML tags.

Ensure Your Website is Keyboard Navigation-Friendly

6. Ensure Your Site is Keyboard Navigation-Friendly

As part of ADA compliance standards, you will want to ensure your website can be navigated solely by your keyboard. The reason for this is that not all your users will be able to interact with a touchscreen or grasp a mouse. In addition, your website visitors will need to be able to pause content or slow down automatic scrolling and slideshow movement. Furthermore, your web developer should ensure videos do not automatically play and can be managed by keyboard functions.

Stay Current on ADA Compliance Changes

7. Stay Current on ADA Compliance Changes

Finally, you will want to make sure that your website remains current with recent ADA Compliance changes. Especially as new technologies emerge, you will want to ensure that your ADA website stays up-to-date. Discuss with your web developer how frequently your website will need to be updated, what it will cost to keep your website up-to-date, and how long the process will take.

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Does my Website Need to be 508 Compliant?

You can’t just get your website up and running without abiding by certain regulations. Every website has to abide by federal, state, and government accessibility standards. The standards the website has to abide by are in accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In 2001, it was updated, which included intranet and internet.

To make your website ADA compliant, you have to do 5 things, which are the following:

  • Navigation: Navigation is more than your users clicking on your website's menu. In fact, it should be how they move through different pages of your website and how they interpret the information of your website. For instance, those who are visually impaired won't be able to visit different pages on your site if it's not been configured for them.

There is tab navigation that enables users to move across different areas of the site and use keyboard shortcuts. A lot of people depend on this type of navigation to get them through different areas of the website.

Likewise, if there are users with physical disabilities, then this type of navigation may be the only way possible for them to visit your website. If you don't configure this function, they will lose faith and abandon your website.

  • Orientation and responsiveness: Many people who have a disability prefer to browse the internet using a smartphone or tablet. To benefit these people, your website should be scalable so it can fit the screen and different formats used by these devices.

For instance, the hover effect that you can use on desktops on laptops is not available on touch screen devices. Therefore the content can look different and not as effective as it does on the desktop device. To remove this, a lot of websites create a clickable link for ll devices instead.

  • Labels, titles, and alt tags: When making a website, you have to make sure the buttons, icons, and images are easy for all other users. This means all of these three elements should have the proper labels to ensure they can work the same way across all devices.
  • Spacing and sizing: Your website's layout must provide pleasure and well spaced with padding and margins. The reason why you need to add padding is that it creates spacing between the content and the element. Similarly, you can make it larger and stand out amongst other areas of your website.
  • You should do this, as it can help people who have tremors and those who have little hand-eye coordination. These people might struggle to click on small button and can easily use a large one. Padding helps do this by making the target larger, and the margins make it easier for the user to locate the section and not hit the wrong element.

    • ● Readability and color contrast: The text should be easy to read and not too bright to stop people from reading it. Contrasting colors are essential for any website as they can make text readable. For example, having a white background and black text can cause it to stand out easily. Whereas having a green background with blue text can make it difficult. Simply having contrasting colors will help people of all abilities, including those who are color blind, to see better.

To review the regulations that make your website ADA compliant, you should abide by the web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.

There is only one official exemption stated, and that is, if you have less than 15 employees, you don’t have to comply. However, even if you don’t comply, you should want to like many small companies do, so you can make your website as accessible and available to as many people as you can.

First of all, section 504 involves your company abiding by the ADA for public accommodations and other factors. Whereas section 508 is in relation to federal, state, and local governments. In this section, there is an area that highlights web accessibility. Both sections 504 and 508 are important for ADA compliance of websites.

You don’t need to scan your site manually to check how it complies with ADA regulations. In fact, there is an abundance of tools online created to make your life easier. They scan your website and then look for the areas you comply with. A good example of a tool you can use is WAVE, which helps you start and locate the main areas.

More or less, the guidelines for WCAG 2.0 and WCAG 2.1 are the same. However, 2.1 is the updated version which includes your screen orientation, hover content, focus content, label names, status, and more.

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