ADA Website Accessibility

Is Your Website ADA Compliant?


Businesses today should be aware of the legal requirement to make accommodations for people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, are the set of laws that require businesses to provide accommodations such as, wheelchair accessibility, access to service animals, as well as requiring Braille for the visually impaired. This set of laws also extends into the digital realm and is referred to generally as Website Accessibility.

web accessibility

What is Needed to Get Compliant?


ADA is basically an optimization of your site’s content to fix website accessibility errors associated with the content structure and descriptive details to enable it to read properly in screen reading software. Depending on the level of WCAG (Web Consortium Accessibility Guidelines) that you want to accommodate. This is a brief list of the type of updates that are needed to start getting compliant:

  • Images: Images on your website must be assigned alternative text (alt text), also known as an alt attribute. Alt text is the message that appears when an image is unable to load and it’s also used to help assistive devices understand what is being presented.
  • Design & Colors: Contrasting colors (like a white background and black text) are integral for users to discern buttons and links from text. This is one of the reasons why many call to action (CTA) buttons are a different color than a brand’s main theme. This isn’t just important for those with impairments; it attracts attention from all types of visitors.
  • Code: The website code must be robustly accessible. This includes using the semantically correct HTML elements and ensuring the page flow from top to bottom is in a logical order with elements in the right hierarchy.
  • Labeling: Ensure your website has the necessary instructions listed wherever user input is required (check out page, contact form, etc.) so that all visitors know how to interpret their function.
  • Functionality: Your website visitors should be able to navigate your site without the use of a mouse. Keyboard navigation is a good way to mimic how many assistive devices interpret a webpage. This is another area where labeling is important since the HTML is the only thing telling assistive devices what the page content is.

Liability for Failure to Comply


Failing to get in compliance with ADA guidelines leaves your business vulnerable to lawsuits. Which is an easy target for watchdog groups to seek out large settlements from noncompliant businesses. The costs of an ADA lawsuit can add up very quickly and bringing your site up to standards after the litigation will not negate the proceedings. Businesses must show that they are making reasonable efforts to accommodate the vision impaired before the case is filed.