What is an ADA Compliant Website?
What does an ADA-compliant website look like, exactly? There are no clear ADA regulations that spell out exactly what compliant web content is, but businesses that fall under ADA Title I or ADA Title III are required to develop a website that offers “reasonable accessibility” to people with disabilities.
Why is ADA Accessibility Important?
Implementing ADA Accessibility Measures will Increase Your Target Audience
If your website is not already ADA compliant, you are automatically missing out on millions of potential customers who cannot access your site due to their disabilities. In fact, there are nearly 50 million people with disabilities in the U.S.
Many of them might be interested in your products or services, but once they arrive at your website, they won’t be able to navigate easily enough to buy anything or even contact you, all because your website is only accessible to people without disabilities. Thus, they may move on to your competitors.
Implementing ADA Accessibility Improves Your Website’s SEO
Now more than ever, search engines are evolving to crawl pages with more human intention. A key element of WCAG is the accessibility to screen readers, and these readers crawl your website pages similarly to search engines. If your website meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, it will likely appeal to users, search engines, and screen readers alike, ultimately improving your SEO endeavors. For this reason, meta-tagging, alternative image text, and video transcripts should be seriously considered.
Implementing ADA Accessibility May Help Your Reputation
The fact that an ADA compliant website can increase your target audience by millions is just one reason to make your site more accessible. Another benefit is that not only will you get more customers, but those customers will also know how valuable they are to your business. After all, they might have gone to a few other websites that were not ADA compliant, disappointed each time that they couldn’t access the content until they got to your website.
And once those new customers tell their friends and relatives how they found your website, more people will know you made sure to make it ADA compliant. The fact that you put this effort into ensuring everyone was included will set you apart from your competitors. Therefore, making your site ADA compliant is a great way to get some positive press for your business.
Implementing ADA Accessibility Means Overall Better Website Usability
Creating a more operable and navigable website will ultimately benefit all users while still meeting WCAG guidelines. Making your web pages easier to comprehend will allow everyone – disabled or non – to find what they’re looking for quickly. If you decide to follow the guidelines, your website will likely convert more leads across the board because users will trust that they can always easily find the content they need.
Implementing ADA Accessibility Means You Can Avoid Penalties
The text in the ADA did not originally mention websites since this technology was not widely used in 1990. But now that most businesses have a website, they need to make sure it’s accessible to everyone. Since we’re past the ruling date, all updated pages on your website are required to be at least grade A compliant, with grade AAA being the highest.
Dozens of esteemed brands have been hit with significant lawsuits in recent years before the guidelines were even set in stone. Businesses including Fordham University, Foot Locker, Brooks Brothers, and even Kylie Jenner have been sued for the lack of ADA compliant websites.
Currently, there is a safe harbor clause that allows your existing content to remain as it is unless altered after January 18, 2018. However, the guidelines do pertain to any page that has been updated after that date. So if you want to avoid the legal costs of being found non-compliant with the ADA, it’s best to make the necessary changes to your website now.
According to the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:
“Reasonable accommodation’ means necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Furthermore, the UN explains that the way to meet this reasonable accommodation is through universal design.
Our ADA Accessibility option provides greater accessibility for your website visitors with disabilities.
- Text to Voice Screen reader
- Text Enlarging
- Screen Contrast Options
- Alt text for all images
- ADA Accessibility Statement for your website.
- This is generally considered level “A” compliance.
- Our fee for programming is $200 per website. (Only available on websites that we developed, host, and manage.)
DISCLAIMER: For certified ADA compliance, we recommend enlisting the consultation of an ADA Compliance Expert or Disability Lawyer. Full “AAA” compliance is generally reserved for large corporations and can cost $3,000- $50,000 for full site compliance on every level.