Thanks to the evolving technology, it is more possible than ever to alter your website to make it accessible to all. According to the ADA experts at AudioEye, “Digital accessibility means creating and maintaining a barrier-free digital experience so that individuals of all abilities can access—and interact with—online information.” In some cases, of course, this is more than just smart business: ADA compliance may be a legal requirement.
What is Required for a Website to be ADA Compliant?
The ADA, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, was passed to ensure that all Americans have access to public places, regardless of their physical, emotional, or intellectual handicaps. Court rulings have determined that there are some requirements websites must have to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the internet.
This includes a few modifications, such as alternative text for images (enabling these images to be read by a text-to-speech program), contrast changes, accessible forms, and more.
In other words, websites have to be formatted in such a way to allow people with visual difficulties to be able to use them properly. Failure to do so does potentially leave a small business owner open to a lawsuit under a Title III violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Four Traits of an ADA Website
According to organizations like Web Accessibility Initiative, four specific traits make a website ADA compliant. They are:
- Perceivable: Anyone can read the text and other content of your website, and all content can be easily read by any text-to-speech device. This means that the text can have its size altered and that images can have an alternative text.
- Operable: Many physical disabilities render someone unable to use a mouse or keyboard. As such, your website must be easy to navigate regardless of these physical disabilities. People should be able to get to any portion of your website – and view all of its content – regardless of what physical disability they may suffer from.
- Understandable: The content on your website must be readable and understandable to all, regardless of what disability they may have. Content that changes should be kept in the same predictable, understandable format, the text should be easy to read, and any changes must adhere to formats that can still be read.
- Robust: Thankfully, there are a variety of technological devices that can assist people with disabilities can read all internet-based content. Your website must be formatted in such a way that these devices can easily translate content for all people.
Failing to adhere to these guidelines and set up a specific website that will adhere to these graphics can cut out an important slice of the market from viewing your company’s internet-based content. It could also expose you to a lawsuit. As such, you must do everything you can to ensure that your website is ADA compliant.