Does you website need to be ADA compliant?

Walk around and you will see ADA compliance nearly everywhere you go. From handicapped accessible curbs and ramps to the little chirping noise to help people know when to cross a street. Did you know that your website can and should meet ADA compliance?

A website needs to be ADA compliant?

Your website should be accessible to everyone the same way a bank’s ATM or city hall should be. The government is actively working to ensure that all websites are ADA compliant with guidelines set to be released sometime in 2018 for websites and apps. Besides of course gaining new potential viewers to customers to your website making your website ADA compliant could save you a lot of time and money by avoiding fines and legal fees. That time and money would be better served by putting it into your business.

Any business considered to be a “place of public accommodation” is required by law to provide equal access and that includes businesses that exist solely on the Internet. The Department of Justice has ruled that websites and apps should be designed to accommodate people who are visually impaired, hearing impaired and disabled and a substantial fine or other legal woes for anyone who does not comply could be forthcoming.

What can be done to a website

The good news is that you do not need to build a ramp or resize your entryways. There are some quick and easy things that can be done to help meet ADA guidelines. A website should have easily resizable text with a high contrast mode to help your visually impaired visitors read your website better. Make any links easy to read by using high contrast colors and alternative text. Photos should have alternate text descriptions and audio descriptions should be created along with transcripts for the hard of hearing. For people with mobility issues a text-only version of your website should be created since navigating through your site could be difficult for them. E-commerce sites should work especially hard making sure that all text fields are labeled properly. It is also recommended making sure that everything on the website can be accessed by using a keyboard rather than a cursor as using a mouse can be difficult for some. Assistive web technologies have helped many disabled or impaired persons and by making sure that your website is compatible with them so you can sleep easier at night.

Guidelines have not been released yet

With the guidelines for this not yet released it is unclear what steps exactly will need to be taken in order to meet compliance. When the guidelines are released it will take some time for us to digest them and we will then need to take the time to make sure that all websites that need to be in compliance are. This will not be done overnight and in many cases it will not be easy but Nicely Done Sites will get it done.

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