What is ADA compliance?
The United States Department of Justice published the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design in September 2010. These standards state that all electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities.
That includes websites. So, if you have a website, is it ADA compliant?
Many people with disabilities use assistive technology to enable them to use computers and access the Internet. For example, blind persons may use audible screen readers. A person having difficulty using a computer mouse may use voice recognition software and use verbal commands to control his or her computer.
ADA Compliance Defined
A website designed with features compatible with assistive technology is considered ADA compliant.
The risk of non-compliance
In June of 2017, a blind man won a lawsuit against a major grocery chain headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida because the company’s website was not compatible with standard screen reader software. The blind man alleged the website's incompatibility with standard screen reader software caused him injury by denying him the full and equal enjoyment of what the grocery chain's 495 stores offer to sighted customers.
This lawsuit was the 1st case of its kind to go to trial and to prove successful for the plaintiff. [click to learn more about the details of this court case]
The success of the lawsuit indicates that companies with websites face a serious legal and financial risk if their websites do not meet ADA compliance. To date, over 60 guidelines have been defined for ADA compliance.
2 reasons you should be ADA compliant
Reason #1 – It protects your business from lawsuit
By making sure your website compliant to ADA standards, you protect yourself from the same type of lawsuit described above. Plus, you open your online door to people with disabilities to become customers. How?
Reason #2 – It’s good for marketing
Search engines favor websites that implement ADA compliance standards. If a search engine prefers your website over others in the same industry, your search rankings may improve so that more people find you online. ADA compliance is one more way to generate more interest in your business.
It can improve visitor conversion. Your website’s ease of use is a major factor determining whether a visitor becomes a customer. This principle is true for people with and without disabilities. A website meeting ADA compliance helps people with disabilities to easily use the website and increases the likelihood that they convert into a customer.
3 steps toward ADA compliance
For most websites, implementing accessibility features is not difficult. It’s simply very detailed.
STEP #1 – Evaluation
The first step toward ADA compliance is to evaluate your website using guidelines and appropriate tools to generate a detailed checklist that measures your site. This audit of your site will identify three areas of ADA compliance:
- A, must support
- AA, should support
- AAA, may support
STEP #2 – Action Plan
Second, develop an action plan to execute features for ADA compliance. We can help you document this action plan so that it’s simple and clear for you and your team to understand.
STEP #3 – Execution
Finally, execute the action plan. We can also help you to execute the action plan or train your staff to do so.
Did You Know?
We design websites that are
- powerful marketing tools
- optimized for visitor conversion
- search engine optimized (SEO) and
- include features that meet ADA compliance
How to maintain compliance
Maintaining compliance involves developing procedures to ensure your website is:
If you manage your own website, we can train your team on the basics of updating the website and maintaining ADA compliance. ADA training can be conducted at your location, and we’ll make it an easy and organized process.