How to Make Your Website ADA Complaint? A Complete Guide
In today’s digital landscape, ensuring your website is ADA compliant is not just a legal necessity; it’s a moral imperative for businesses and organizations. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), established in the early ’90s, mandates nondiscrimination against individuals with disabilities, covering all areas from employment to telecommunications. Initially focused on physical accommodations, the ADA’s relevance has expanded into the digital realm, emphasizing the need for web accessibility.
Since 2018, web accessibility has become a critical component of ADA compliance, demanding that websites be designed and maintained in a manner accessible to people with disabilities. This shift underscores the importance of digital inclusivity, but the path to compliance can appear complex. Below, we provide a comprehensive guide on how to make your website ADA compliant, ensuring it’s accessible and navigable for all users.
1. Familiarize Yourself with WCAG 2.0 Guidelines
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 are pivotal in understanding how to achieve web accessibility. These guidelines serve as the foundation for making your site ADA compliant.
2. Conduct an ADA Compliance Audit
Leverage tools like the WAVE Web Accessibility Tool to identify and address accessibility barriers on your website, such as missing alt tags or inaccessible styles.
3. Implement Descriptive Alt Tags for Images
Alt tags play a crucial role in web accessibility, enabling screen readers to describe images to visually impaired users. Ensure every image on your site is accompanied by a descriptive alt tag.
4. Optimize Website Visuals for Accessibility
Reevaluate your website’s design elements, including color contrasts, font sizes, and interactive elements, to ensure they accommodate users with various disabilities.
5. Utilize ADA Compliant Content Writing Practices
Write content that’s straightforward, engaging, and easy to navigate. Use clear headings and subheadings, and be mindful of how screen readers interpret acronyms and abbreviations.
6. Ensure Your Website’s Code Meets ADA Standards
Work with a developer to review and refine your website’s backend, making sure the HTML and CSS are up to date and adhere to accessibility standards.
Web accessibility and ADA compliance are increasingly critical in today’s digital environment. By following these steps, you can make your website more inclusive, avoiding potential legal pitfalls while serving a wider audience. Remember, making your website ADA compliant is an ongoing process that enhances user experience and promotes inclusivity online.