There is a significant amount of debate around ADA website development and the guidelines that companies are required to follow in designing their sites to make them more accessible to people with disabilities. There are many new trends in this space, and the latest compliance regulations are being clarified while being stringently enforced. These regulations govern not just public sector websites, but ones in the private sector as well.
Web developers have particular guidelines to follow when designing and developing websites. As more lawsuits are filed and as technologies keep changing, it is incumbent upon website designers to consistently educate themselves on trends within website accessibility conversation.
ADA Compatible Website Development. Things to Focus On.
Some of the things that web developers need to prioritize are:
- Understanding the different accessibility criteria.
- Following best practices for coding sites
- Relyon standardized techniques
- Being cautious to test when implementing new programmatic technologies
Changes that occurred in the web accessibility landscape in the past year will also likely affect the development of ADA-compliant websites in 2020 and the years to come. Let’s take a look at these trends.
ADA Website Compliance – Trends in 2020
1. Regulations for the Private Sector Are Right Round the Corner
Currently, internet accessibility regulations apply to public and private sector sites in the most prominent global markets (such as the U.S and EU), where the standards were updated in 2019 to be in line with WCAG 2.0 criteria. There has been a slew of lawsuits against private sector companies that have ADA-incompatible digital properties, making it necessary for businesses now to ensure they have accessible websites.
The process for implementing these rules for private sector websites is far more involved than the public sector, and the standards for both of these are different. Despite this confusion, there are clear indications that regulations commonly enforced against websites in the public sector are on the horizon for privately-owned entities as well.
2. WCAG 2.1 Criteria to Be Adopted Soon
Software developers have to think ahead to manage accessibility. In 2019, WCAG 2.0 criteria formed the foundation of ADA regulations. But WCAG 2.1 criteria were released in mid-2018, and these are sure to be adopted. Web developers may need to incorporate these new criteria when developing websites. Tech leaders and web development teams that embrace web accessibility will more easily be able to deliver more accessible sites.
3. Web Accessibility Development Standards Will Continue to Evolve
Despite varying user expectations and web development standards, sites still need to be updated, and projects need to be completed satisfactorily. Clients expect results, and they don’t want to be bogged down by accessibility-related lawsuits. They want finished websites at an efficient cost and with minimal flaws.
These evolving standards also need internal accessibility guidelines that are clear and current. It’s why development teams would have to adopt a dynamic approach while handling web development projects for their clients. They would need to commit to best practices while designing features for an ADA compatible website.
4. Browser Compatibility Issues Need To Be Kept in View While Developing Accessible Sites
Browser support is another crucial aspect of developing ADA-compliant websites. While this is essential with regards to functionality and styling, it has specific implications for accessibility too. A site can’t be deemed accessible if its functional components don’t work as they should. Modern-day frameworks and coding languages are highly advanced and built using the latest internet technology.
A significant number of users continue to use older browsers. Being accessible to those older browsers is an ongoing challenge web developers will continue to face as they embrace and integrate newer features in their website projects. They also have to be sure that the use-cases they incorporate are compatible with the assistive technologies and browsers that their clientele commonly use.
Hire Experts For ADA Compatible Website Development
It isn’t easy to keep ADA website compliance requirements as a top priority when a website is still in the design phase. Nevertheless, digital accessibility influences the overall structure of all the components of a site. It’s why the entire website development process needs to be respectful to ADA demands. Accessibility needs to be fully integrated into site code from the get-go, rather than incorporated later on top of poorly structured code.
This is a complex task and it’s often a really good idea to offload this work to experts who focus on ADA website compliance. For information about our services, feel free to contact Website Compliance With ADA at 310-437-8185 or send us an email through this Contact Us form.
Resources used in preparing this article: