As per the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, local and state governments are required to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to all their activities, services, or programs.
The only exception is if doing so imposes an unrequired burden or fundamentally alters the intrinsic nature of those activities, services, or programs. While there are many details when it comes to ADA compliance, here we take a look at the compliance checklist for websites:
What Is The Meaning Of ADA Website Compliance?
Americans with Disabilities Act compliance means that every local government is expected and required to ensure that all their digital content is easily accessible by people with physical disabilities and limitations such as auditory, visual, etc. Organizations that serve citizens are required to offer websites that provide access to local resources, information, and news.
The information listed here is in the form of an ADA compliance for websites checklist. It gives you a sneak peek into what you need to be aware of when it comes to website compliance. While discussing this topic, the two terms used interchangeably: are website accessibility and ADA website compliance. For sites to be ADA compliant, they have to be accessible.
To ensure website compliance, you need to evaluate your site using the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.) There are three distinct levels in which the criteria are categorized; these provide greater degrees of accessibility in succession:
- Level A (minimum) – This level has the most basic features required for web accessibility. While it sets a minimum accessibility level, it generally doesn’t achieve broad accessibility for various situations.
- Level AA (mid-range) – This deals with the most common and significant barriers for various disabled users.
- Level AAA (highest) – In this highest level of web accessibility, it often doesn’t become possible to satisfy every single success criteria in the Level AAA, for certain types of content.
All websites must be optimized to work in tandem with various types of assistive technology. Poorly designed sites pose barriers for disabled citizens, completely inhibiting or limiting their ability to obtain the information they need from your local government site.
ADA Compliance for Websites Checklist- Top Tips
- Use relevant headings and titles
- Use citizen-facing wording in place of internal terminology
- In addition to different colors, you need to use bold and italic text and avoid large chunks of text (dense paragraphs)
- Feature modules/areas in your CMS
- Use bulleted lists
- Use a high-contrast color scheme
- When you need to use tables, populate them with cell information and a column header
- Use alternate text for all visuals using buttons, icons, logos, sketches, logos, and banners, etc.
- Populate tables
- The website needs to be navigable by regular keyboards as well as keyboard equivalents.
- Don’t use any pdfs
- Enhance all the multi-media on your site
- Add “skip navigation” at the top of the web pages on your site
- Ensure that all the information is in a consistent location as it helps users find the information they need faster.
Let’s break the criteria down further into Level A and Level AA compliance to determine if your website currently meets the accessibility requirements.
Level A Checklist
- Links provided to media players should be able to view content
- Headings should be presented in a proper, logical order
- Ensure that you replace the “b” and “i” tags with “strong” and “em”
- There should be no empty heading tags or links
- The presentation should not rely solely on the color
- Automatically-played audio should not occur, and the user should be able to stop it
- Time limits provide the users with notifications
- Option to stop automatically blinking/scrolling content
Level AA Checklist
- Live audio/video content includes captions
- The contrast ratio between all colors and page backgrounds should be at least 4.5-to-1
- Don’t use images where text can achieve that same purpose
- Make sure that text on pages can be resized up to 200% while still maintaining their form
- Pages on the website should be easily accessible in multiple ways
- Keyboard focus should be visible and clear
- An error prevention technique has to be in place whenever the users are entering sensitive data
Make Sure Your Site is ADA- Compliant
Updating your business website to become compliant is a process, and the ADA compliance for websites checklist in this article isn’t comprehensive. But it gives a sneak peek into what is expected of you with regards to the Americans with Disabilities Act that you can access in detail on the ADA website. It is a strict law and not one you should take lightly.
We at Website Compliance With ADA have the skills and tools necessary to scan your business website for any ADA-related compliance problems and recommend suitable fixes.