How to Make Your Website ADA Compliant? Unraveling the Mystery

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website accessibility checker accessibe

As the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that businesses make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal action and damage to your brand’s reputation.

In this article, we’ll explore the steps you can take to make your website ADA compliant and avoid potential legal issues.

What is Website Accessibility?

Website accessibility refers to the practice of designing and developing websites that can be used by people with disabilities. This includes individuals with visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities.

According to the World Health Organization, over 1 billion people worldwide have some form of disability. This means that by making your website accessible, you can reach a larger audience and improve the user experience for all users.

Why is Website Accessibility Important?

Accessibility icon

Aside from the legal requirements, there are several reasons why website accessibility is important:

  • It’s the right thing to do: By making your website accessible, you are ensuring that all individuals have equal access to your content and services.
  • It can improve your SEO: Search engines, like Google, prioritize websites that are accessible and user-friendly. By making your website accessible, you can improve your search engine rankings and attract more traffic.
  • It can increase conversions: By making your website accessible, you are making it easier for all users to navigate and interact with your website. This can lead to increased conversions and sales.

How to Make Your Website ADA Compliant?

Making your website ADA compliant may seem like a daunting task, but it can be broken down into manageable steps. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Understand the ADA Guidelines

The first step to making your website ADA compliant is to understand the guidelines set forth by the ADA. These guidelines, known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), provide a set of standards for making websites accessible to individuals with disabilities.

The WCAG is divided into three levels of conformance: A, AA, and AAA. Level A is the minimum requirement for ADA compliance, while level AA is the recommended level for most websites. Level AAA is the highest level of conformance and is not required for ADA compliance.

2. Conduct an Accessibility Audit

Accessibility audit

The next step is to conduct an accessibility audit of your website. This involves using a website accessibility checker, such as accessibe, to scan your website for any accessibility issues.

These tools use artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze your website and identify any potential barriers to accessibility. They can also provide recommendations for how to fix these issues.

3. Make Necessary Changes

Once you have identified any accessibility issues, it’s time to make the necessary changes to your website. This may involve updating your website’s code, adding alt text to images, and ensuring that all content is accessible to screen readers.

If you are not familiar with web development, it may be helpful to hire a professional to make these changes for you. This will ensure that your website is fully compliant with the ADA guidelines.

4. Provide Alternative Access

In some cases, it may not be possible to make your website fully accessible to individuals with disabilities. In these cases, it’s important to provide alternative access to your content and services.

For example, you can provide a phone number or email address for individuals who are unable to access your website. You can also offer alternative formats for your content, such as audio or braille versions.

5. Train Your Team

Team training

It’s important to train your team on website accessibility and the ADA guidelines. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands the importance of making your website accessible.

Your team should also be trained on how to create accessible content and use accessibility tools, such as screen readers. This will help to ensure that all content added to your website is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Tools for Website Accessibility Remediation

There are several tools available to help you make your website ADA compliant. Here are a few of the most popular options:

1. accessibe

accessibe is an AI-powered website accessibility solution that can make your website fully compliant with the ADA guidelines in just 48 hours. It uses AI to scan your website and make necessary changes to ensure accessibility.

2. UserWay

UserWay is a free accessibility widget that can be added to your website to make it more accessible. It offers features such as screen reader compatibility, keyboard navigation, and font resizing.

3. A11y

A11y is a web accessibility testing tool that can help you identify and fix accessibility issues on your website. It offers a free trial and can be integrated with popular content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and Drupal.

Real-World Examples of Website Accessibility Remediation

Many businesses have faced legal action for failing to make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities. Here are a few real-world examples:

1. Domino’s Pizza

In 2019, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Domino’s Pizza, which was sued by a blind man who was unable to order food from the company’s website and mobile app. The court’s decision allowed the case to proceed, setting a precedent for future lawsuits against businesses with inaccessible websites.

2. Beyoncé

In 2019, Beyoncé’s company, Parkwood Entertainment, was sued by a visually impaired individual who was unable to access the singer’s website. The lawsuit claimed that the website was not compatible with screen reader software, making it inaccessible to individuals with visual impairments.

Who is Responsible for Website Accessibility?

Website accessibility team
by Fabian Møller (https://unsplash.com/@fabimoe)

The responsibility for website accessibility falls on the business or organization that owns the website. This includes the website owner, web developers, and content creators.

It’s important for all team members to understand the ADA guidelines and their role in making the website accessible. This will help to ensure that all content and features added to the website are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Conclusion

Making your website ADA compliant is not only a legal requirement, but it’s also the right thing to do. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your website is accessible to all users and avoid potential legal issues.

Remember to regularly conduct accessibility audits and make necessary changes to ensure that your website remains compliant with the ADA guidelines. By prioritizing website accessibility, you can reach a larger audience and improve the user experience for all users.

For more information, visit ApzoMedia