ADA Compliance is short for the Standards for Accessible Design Act What that means is that all information and electronic technology, that is, your website must be accessible to people with disabilities. In a nutshell, an ADA-compliant website is designed for everyone. You should allow people with any disability to use your website in a way that works for them. This is a win-win, as a more accessible website means more traffic and more traffic helps your business grow.
Compliance with the ADA refers to compliance with the standards set by the Standards for Accessible Design of the Americans Act. This law covers the accessibility of electronic and information technology, such as the Internet and its websites, versus physical locations. An estimated 22 percent of adult Americans have at least one disability. From mobility problems to visual impairments, disabilities can create significant challenges for accessing the Internet.
Many Internet users with disabilities cannot use the mouse to browse because they rely on keyboards or other input devices. Unfortunately, keyboard-only navigation is often overlooked. In fact, an analysis of 10 million web pages by AccessiBE, an AI-powered web accessibility platform, found that 98 percent of website menus are not fully accessible, largely because there is no way to navigate their websites with just the keyboard. Compliance with the ADA website essentially boils down to making your website comply with WCAG 2.1 AA technical standards.
Read on to learn more about what ADA compliance means, if accessible ADA standards affect you, and how to create an ADA-compliant website. Complex image documents cannot be understood by software that reads text aloud to visually impaired website users and does not pass ADA-compliant standards. You can also check for specific ADA compliance issues, such as color contrast, with programs dedicated to these topics. We've covered the WCAG guidelines extensively in other articles, but here's a quick summary of the basics of maintaining a WCAG and ADA compliant website.
If the ADA applies to your business and you operate a site for your company, you must make your website accessible to everyone. Other cases have concluded that websites are subject to ADA regulations if there is a close “nexus” between the site and a physical location, the most famous example being the ruling against the supermarket chain Winn-Dixie for not making its site accessible to users with low vision. Although not definitive, best practices for ADA compliance are full compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA and publication of an accessibility statement. Even if ADA compliance doesn't apply to you, it's still important to create a site that everyone can use.
Since the ADA covers electronic and information technology, such as the Internet and the websites it contains, compliance with the ADA affects almost all companies and website administrators. Even if the ADA doesn't apply to your company (let's say you employ 10 team members), you need to make ADA compliance part of your operations. Last year, the Supreme Court awarded ADA advocates a big victory when it ruled against Domino's in a lawsuit filed against the pizza giant by a blind man who couldn't use the network's website.