Now that people have grown to depend more on the internet, you are probably getting yourself acquainted with expanding the reach of your website. Today, we will explain how you can use an ADA website compliance checker so that you can make your website more available to all visitors all over the world.
Should my website be ADA compliant?
Yes. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law enacted to safeguard some of the most vulnerable in our population. As more people rely on the internet, making your website more accessible to everyone is a social responsibility we must take upon ourselves, not just for fear of violating the law, but also because it is the right thing to do.
ADA adherence also works to your advantage. According to the CDC, 61 million people in the country are currently living with some form of disability. When your website is ADA compliant, you don’t just protect yourself from the inconvenience of lawsuits, you also add to your website’s pool of valuable patrons because of a barrier you were able to remove.
What can I do to make my website more accessible?
Every day, the law continues to change as courts arrive at decisions and regulations are improved upon. When the ADA was passed three decades ago, its main proponents did not expect the impact that the internet would have on everybody’s lives. As technology catches up to the requirements of our time, however, so is the law increasingly being called to address this shortcoming.
Although there are several types of disabilities that must be taken in consideration, two particular necessities stand out.
1. For Vision Impairment
The CDC identifies vision impairment among the ten most common disabilities for the young and old. And now, there are at least 12 million adults over 40 with some level of vision disability who stand to benefit from the use of essential services that can only be availed over the internet especially during the pandemic. With today’s technology, you can easily sidestep the visual barrier by making sure that pages on your website are screen reader-friendly. You must also make sure that word descriptions (or what we call alt text) are provided for images.
2. For Hearing Impairment
Since the internet is a medium that has audio and visual capacities, hearing is another heavy concern amongst internet users. An adult website was famously sued by a deaf man in January 2020 for allegedly failing to provide closed captioning for their videos. Clearly, the small act of providing closed captioning not just for dialogue but also for music and other sounds can really go a long way.
How do I make sure I am ADA compliant?
Simply put, the ADA can be complicated even if you try to put maximum effort in ensuring adherence. But the good news is that this is an advocacy that the worldwide community is working hard to achieve.
Since the two pieces of advice mentioned above does not cover the length and breadth of all disabilities to be addressed, you can visit the World Wide Web Consortium’s list of tools to help you evaluate your website’s accessibility. With a little due diligence, these compliance checkers can point out your website’s blind spots and other areas for improvement.