ADA Compliance What is it and Do You Comply?
The importance of ADA compliance. Being ADA compliant is an active attempt to not only make all organisations inclusive, but it’s also a proactive strategy for organisations to succeed by making themselves accessible to all individuals. Continue reading to find out more about the ADA compliance requirements and what it takes to meet them.
What does ADA compliance mean?
ADA compliance refers to The Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. All electronic information and technology, including your website, must be usable by people with various impairments.
ADA and 508 compliance are frequently misunderstood. ADA compliance, differs in that it’s more of a civil law that requires the inclusion of all individuals, particularly those with disabilities, in all areas of public life. That includes any setting accessible to the general public, such as a workplace, a school, a transportation facility, etc. The ADA and Section 508 both have the same objectives; however, Section 508 only applies to Federal purchases.
Both ADA and Section 508 work alongside the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. However, the WCAG is a formal collection of recommendations for enhancing accessibility. The accessibility of HTML across all platforms is the main focus of WCAG.
To summarise, ADA compliance refers to the civil law that ensures equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public arena.
Who does the ADA apply to?
Since the ADA covers all forms of electronic technology and information, including the internet and all of its websites, compliance with the law affects almost all companies and web designers. To be more precise, the following are covered by ADA compliance:
1. Organisations of the state and local governments
2. Private businesses with at least 15 employees
3. Organisations that serve the general public (i.e., public transportation, schools, restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, hotels, banks, accountant offices, law offices, social service centres, gyms, healthcare providers, the United States Postal Service, and so on)
4. Businesses that are categorised as places of public accommodation (Title III)
In truth all websites should be ADA and WCAG compliant even if the rules do not specifically apply to them. It is common sense and good business sense to be as accessible to as many people as possible.
What if my website is not currently ADA compliant?
Most of the time, failure to comply with ADA compliance standards is not deliberate or even intentional. But it doesn’t matter because you risk a sizeable lawsuit if your website isn’t ADA compliant. If your website isn’t accessible to everyone, you risk spending thousands of dollars in legal fees, even if you mistakenly overlooked the U.S. Department of Justice’s standards.
As well as a potential lawsuit for non-adherence to the ADA compliance standards, you will also be dealing with:
1. legal costs
2. Have to make a costly settlement
3. A potential issue with negative public relations
4. The additional costs of redeveloping your website to be ADA compliant
In addition, failing to make your website accessible to users with disabilities puts you at danger of losing clients. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that every few years, the number of people with disabilities rises by millions. In 2019 it is reported that over 25% of the US population is suffering some form of disability. That is over 60 million people.
What do I need to do to achieve ADA compliance?
So how can you ensure that your website complies with ADA guidelines? Our best advice is to conform to the WCAG 2.1 standards (mentioned above). There are three grading levels used in the WCAG 2.1 guidelines:
- Level A: Only a select group of users can view your website.
- Level AA: Nearly all users can visit your website.
- Level AAA: All users can view your website
Usually, the requirements for Level AA compliance should suffice. To ensure that you don’t exclude anyone, your best bet is to improve (or rebuild) your website to be completely compliant.
The fundamental guidelines of the WCAG 2.1 standards
Every user should be able to understand every piece of information that shows on your website. Text, pictures, videos, and other content fall under this category.
Perceivable refers to providing options in order to create accessibility. For instance, there should be a text-to-speech option for people who are blind. There should be a choice for closed captioning if they are deaf.
Your website should be simple to use for all of your visitors. Every element you provide, including the tools on your site, should be accessible to all users. The best practice would be to have it written into your HTML, therefore you’ll need a web developer who is up to date on ADA compliance guidelines.
Your users need to be able to understand what they’re reading, listening to, in addition to being able to “see” and navigate your website. Include instructions alongside the site tools, navigation menu, forms, or any other services your website offers is one way to put this idea into practise.
You want your disabled users to have the same overall experience as your non-disabled users, even if they are helped by assistive technologies. This means that your website’s content should be accessible to everyone, regardless of how it is presented. Don’t condense explanations, directions, or other descriptions. Give every user the full user experience to treat them equally.
We can help you achieve ADA compliance
For some, ADA compliance entails completely redesigning your website to make sure that the accessible options are integrated into the HTML coding. Although expensive and time-consuming, it is also necessary. Also, if you don’t do it, the cost will increase.
Consider ADA compliance as a positive. Making your company inclusive of everyone will increase business and improve your reputation. Contact us right away if you need assistance getting started. We are experts in providing accessible compliance services, and we can quickly have you in full ADA compliance.
Already WCAG 2.1 AA certified, we have the skills and expertise to ensure that your website can achieve certification. Our team of dedicated web developers can make the necessary changes, with little bother or disruption to your business.
WCAG 2.1 AA Audit Certification and Accessibility Statement Service is charged at £400 per day.
Prices exclude VAT
Call us now 01276 69119 to book a free consultation with one of our web design experts or email us [email protected]