The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), developed in 1990, is meant to ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as anyone else. Any business that serves the public must make sure their building accommodates people with disabilities of various kinds. Unfortunately, many businesses are not aware that ADA compliance also applies to digital store-fronts as well. Websites need to be accessible to people who have disabilities that affect their hearing, vision or physical capacities. Recently, a ruling was passed declaring the official standard of website accessibility for businesses.
Title III of the ADA has mandated that all “places of public accommodation” are required by law to remove any “access barriers” that would inhibit a person with disabilities from accessing the business’ goods or services.
An ADA compliant site will…
Improve User Experience
Accessibility features like font handling, where users can increase and decrease font size, adjust spacing, alignment, line height and more are incredibly helpful to those with vision impairments. Another innovative feature includes an on-demand dictionary that utilizes a search engine linked to Wikipedia that helps allow people with cognitive disorders decipher meanings of phrases, initials and slang on the spot.
Dozens of esteemed brands have been hit with significant lawsuits in recent years before the guidelines were even in writing. Businesses including Fordham University, Foot Locker, Brooks Brothers, and even Kylie Jenner have been sued for the lack of ADA compliant websites. Currently, there is a safe harbor clause that allows your existing content to remain as it is, unless altered after January 18, 2018. However, the protections don’t extend to any page that has been updated after that date. According to an analysis by UsableNet Inc., the number of web accessibility lawsuits was predicted to increase nearly 20% in 2021 before even gaining traction.
Help with SEO
An ADA standard compliant website will help get more visitors to your website as compliance signals to search engines that your site has valuable information for the target audience. They automatically move it higher in search engine result pages (SERPs). A key element of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is accessibility to screen readers, which allow visitors to explore your website similarly to search engines. If your website meets the WCAG, it will likely appeal to users, search engines and screen readers alike, ultimately improving your SEO endeavors. For this reason, meta tagging, alternative image text and video transcripts should be seriously considered and implemented as well.
Increase Target Market
If your website is not fully ADA compliant, you may be mission out on reaching customers who cannot access your site due to their disabilities. There are nearly 61 million adults with disabilities in the U.S., which means about 19 percent of this country has a disability. Many of those affected might be interested in your products or services, but once they arrive at your website, if they aren’t able to navigate easily they’ll likely move on.
ADA Accessibility Adjustment Options Panel includes:
We equip your site with a plugin that guarantees accessibility along with helpful features for people with disabilities.
Users can increase and decrease font size, change type, adjust spacing, alignment, line height, and more.
Users with epilepsy can stop all running animations at the click of a button. This includes videos, GIFs and CSS flashing transitions.
Users can emphasize important elements, such as links and titles. They can also highlight particular focused or hovered elements.
Users with hearing devices may experience headaches or other issues due to automatic audio playing. This option allows users to mute the entire website instantly.
A search engine linked to Wikipedia and Wiktionary, allows people with cognitive disorders to decipher meanings of phrases, initials, and slang on the spot.
Looking to make your website ADA compliant? Contact us or call 330-286-0487. Also, don’t forget to follow us on all of our social platforms. Stay up to date on our monthly newsletters, full of more helpful tips and tricks!