Recently there has been a lot of discussion about websites and ADA compliancy online. This is such a hot topic because many businesses don’t know what ADA compliance is, and how it applies to their company’s websites.
In 2010 an update was made to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards that was put into law in 1990. All electronic information technology, including computer hardware, software, and documentations must be accessible to people with disabilities per the ADA.
The law applies to:
- Private employers with 15 or more employees.
- All state and local government agencies.
- Businesses operating for the benefit of the public, and non-profits (public accommodations and commercial facilities.)
The ADA has now been updated to include websites. This update is a result of recent lawsuits where accommodations have been extended to include non-physical locations.
Now, disabled individuals are guaranteed by law to have the same level of accessibility online. Having an ADA compliant website means that it is accessible to a range of individuals with a variety of disabilities. Currently ADA compliance enforcement is on a case-by-case basis.
There are three level of ADA compliance administered by the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3):
AAA compliance negatively impacts performance, look, and design. For most businesses, AAA compliance is not practical and should put their efforts in AA compliancy. Know where you stand with ADA compliance with this 57 Pointer Checklist.
Top tips for making your website more accessible
- Make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities.
- Blindness, color blindness, poor vision, deafness, hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, and limited movement.
- Provide non-text content.
- Include videos with audio and captions.
- Organize your content.
- Alt text for all images.
- Create accessible video and social media.
- Use colors friendly to color blindness.
The good news! There are many tools and resources available that can help your business website get up to speed with ADA compliance.
ADA Compliance Tools