Website ADA Compliance – What is It and Why It’s Important to Your Business

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Is Your Website ADA Compliant?

You might be wondering why website ADA compliance is important and why the ADA has anything to do with a business website.  After reading this article you will come away with an understanding of why the ADA has addressed website compliance and what you need to do in order to make your website ADA compliant.

When the Americans with Disabilities Act was created in 1990, Congress looked to guarantee that organizations and also public service companies took actions to ensure businesses were accessible to people with disabilities.

However the web as we know it today did not exist in 1990, as well as ADA regulation has not kept pace with today’s digital world, where far more social tasks and purchases happen online. As a result, many U.S. businesses are struggling to understand their legal obligations to provide web accessibility in order to comply with the ADA.

Why Your Website Should Be ADA Compliant

Based upon case law decided in U.S. courts, in addition to statements by the Department of Justice, for websites to be considered ADA-compliant, they must be accessible to users with a range of disabilities.

What Does Website ADA Compliance Mean?

Making your website ADA compliant has everything to do with accessibility to users visiting the site.  The WCAG 2.0 guidelines have a three-tiered grading system:

  • Level A: Your website is only accessible by some users
  • Level AA: Your website is accessible by almost all users
  • Level AAA: Your website is accessible by all users

Most websites fall under Level AA but it’s best to build or edit your site to be 100% compliant. This not only ensures you are inclusive to your visitors but also protects you against expensive lawsuits.

There are core principles for the WCAG 2.0 guidelines that breakdown the factors for ADA compliance.

  1. Be perceivable
  2. Be Operable
  3. Be Understandable
  4. Be Robust

Benefits of Being ADA Compliant

There are many reasons to make your company website ADA compliant. Making it more user friendly and protecting your company from unneeded fines are just the beginning.  Many of the same factors for ADA compliance are also a part of Google’s Core Web Vitals and can impact your search engine optimization efforts.

Consider the elements below as a quick ADA compliance checklist for your site.

  1. Ensure Content has Appropriate Headings and Titles
  2. Use Text and Font to Benefit the Users
  3. Populate Tables
  4. Identify Visuals with Alternate Text
  5. Use Color Contrast
  6. Websites Need to be Navigable
  7. Don’t Use PDFs
  8. Enhance Your Multi-Media
  9. Include “Skip Navigation” at the Top of Your Pages

Most small businesses don’t have someone on staff that can make these changes and many corporations may not realize that their site is not ADA compliant. Copp Media can help in advising your team or make the changes in order to get your site in compliance with ADA standards and at the same time increase your search rankings for valuable keywords.

Does Your Website Need to be ADA Compliant?

Because ADA applies to all electronic information and technology, i.e., the world wide web and all its websites, ADA compliance applies to virtually all businesses and web developers. To be more specific, ADA compliance applies to the following:

  • State and local government organizations
  • Private organizations that employ 15 employees or more
  • Organizations that work for the public’s benefit (i.e., public transportation, schools, restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, hotels, banks, accountant offices, law offices, social service centers, gyms, healthcare providers, the United States Postal Service, and so on)
  • Places of business that would be considered a place of public accommodation (Title III)
  • Ultimately, all websites should be ADA compliant and inclusive to everyone, even if the ADA standards don’t apply to you and your organization.

If your business falls into one the categories above, click the link below to schedule a consult to discuss a website audit and what is needed in order to make your site ADA compliant.

CONTACT us to schedule a website ADA Compliance Audit.