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Is ADA Compliance Mandatory for Websites?

If you own and operate a company that serves the public, you likely know that complying with ADA regulations is critical. Especially if you’re in the medical or education fields. But did you know that your website also needs to be ADA compliant? 

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that their website is not subject to these regulations, but this is not the case. In fact, your website is just as important as your physical location when it comes to accessibility. So, what is website ADA compliance and how do you ensure that your website meets the requirements? Let’s take a look.

What is Website ADA compliance?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) came into law in 1990 and offers a great guideline that helps business owners find ways of making their places of operation accessible to those who require physical accommodations, such as incorporating elevators and ramps for wheelchairs. 

Living in this age of internet-everything, it’s crucial to have a website that is also accessible to everyone and complies with the law. Obviously, a website can’t be made to have ramps and elevators. So what does it mean to make your website ADA compliant? And how can you make sure your site meets all the requirements? 

Website ADA compliance is about making sure that everyone, regardless of ability, can browse and use your website to its fullest potential. Making sure there are captions for audio content and high-contrast color schemes are two examples of what is needed to ensure you’re in compliance. By getting your website compliant, you open your business up to a larger audience and show that you care about inclusivity. 

ADA Compliance Checklist

When you’re starting a website, there are a lot of things to think about – from designing the perfect layout to picking the perfect hosting company. But one thing that’s often overlooked is ADA website requirements. Making sure your website is accessible to everyone isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also required by law! 

So what are the requirements for ADA compliance? We’ve put this handy ADA compliance checklist together for you to give you an idea of what it involves:

  • Images must have alt text that screen reader software can make out.
  • Video and audio content need to have text captions.
  • Color combinations should help to identify content.
  • Font styles and sizes should be set so that they are not difficult to read.
  • All text needs to allow for resizing.
  • Forms to be set so that screen readers can make them out.
  • No flashing lights are allowed.
  • Links, buttons and menus are to be clearly labeled/listed.
  • File types should also allow for text output.
  •  Error prevention techniques implemented.
  • Pop-up suggestions on solving input errors.
  •  Clear keyboard focus that is visible.
  •  No underlined text that does not lead to a link.

And the list goes on….

In fact, you should throw this ADA compliance checklist away and just consult with a web developer like us here at zo agency! We will run an audit on your site that shows you what needs to be added, changed or updated in order to get into compliance with the ADA. Keep in mind that these changes may require some time and effort on your part, but they’re worth it in the end when you know your website is accessible to everyone. 

What Happens When a Website is Not ADA Compliant?

Some businesses ignore the requirements for ADA compliance with their website and face serious possible legal penalties, as well as damage to their reputation. Not all websites are subject to this law, however. Only the businesses whose websites act as extensions of a physical location and are considered “places of public accommodation,” like a medical office or university. 

If you own and operate a place of public accommodation and your website is not accessible to people with disabilities, it’s not compliant with the law. If a customer with a disability can’t get their purchase to go through, for example, or a disabled student trying to apply for a university and running into issues on your site, you could be reported and have legal action taken against you.

However, making your website accessible is not difficult or expensive, and the benefits are clear. So it is highly advised that you take the time to make sure your website adheres to the long list of  ADA requirements so you are not targeted by these legal actions.

How to Test a Website for ADA Compliance

Now, back to the original question:  is ADA compliance mandatory for websites? Yes! Website ADA compliance is critical in creating an inclusive online experience for all users. ADA compliance testing makes sure your website meets the requirements laid out by the ADA. You will want to know how to test a website for ADA compliance so that you avoid potential legal issues and improve the usability of your site for all visitors. 

Have you checked your website to make sure it complies with ADA guidelines? If not, now is a good time to start. Our team of web experts can help you get started on making your website compliant and easy to use for everyone. ADA compliance testing is the first step!

Here at zo agency, we work to build long-term relationships with our clients. We call it Tribe! We work diligently to discover your vision, your passion, your needs, your hopes and dreams for your business and, create an overall marketing plan that meets your needs and fits your budget.  Visit us today at www.zo.agency

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