6 Tips to Make Your Website ADA Compliant

As the world continues to become more digitally intertwined, it’s imperative for businesses and organizations to make sure their websites are ADA compliant. But what does that entail? Let’s break it down.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted in the early ’90s, was established to safeguard the rights of those with disabilities. It expressly forbids discrimination in various areas such as employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications.

In the physical world, businesses and public establishments comply with this law by making necessary accommodations like providing designated accessible parking spaces or including braille labels on elevator buttons. However, the digital world has been somewhat lagging in this regard, but things are changing.

In 2018, the ADA extended its purview to web accessibility, meaning all websites should be accessible to individuals with disabilities. While it’s practically impossible to attain 100% compliance, there are considerable measures that can be taken to significantly improve a website’s accessibility.

Here’s a guide on how to make your website more accessible and in compliance with ADA:

1. Familiarize Yourself with WCAG 2.0:

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 offer a comprehensive set of recommendations to make your website more accessible. Understanding these guidelines will be your first step toward compliance.

2. Conduct a Website Audit for ADA Compliance

Tools like the WAVE Web Accessibility Tool, available as an extension for Google Chrome, can help you identify accessibility issues such as missing alt tags and problematic styles on your website.

3. Optimize Images with Descriptive Alt Tags

Alt tags are crucial for screen readers, which help visually impaired users navigate your website. Make sure all images on your site have descriptive alt tags.

4. Revise Website’s Styles and Elements

Review your website’s visual elements including headings, buttons, and links. Remember to consider all types of users, including those with disabilities. For instance, light-colored, small fonts on light backgrounds might pose readability issues for some users.

5. Implement ADA Compliant Web Writing Best Practices

Create content that’s simple, conversational, and easy to scan. Use headlines and sub-headlines to break down content into digestible chunks. For abbreviations and acronyms, consider using periods in between letters, so screen readers can pronounce them properly.

6. Evaluate Your Website’s Code For ADA Compliance

Collaborate with a developer to review your website’s code and CSS to ensure adherence to best practices and elimination of any outdated code.

With ADA web accessibility regulations becoming increasingly relevant, it’s time to take proactive measures toward compliance and privacy. Remember, achieving ADA compliance for your website is not a one-off task but an ongoing commitment. It’s an integral part of your website’s continual upkeep, ensuring that your digital services remain inclusive for all users. 

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