The Americans with Disabilities Act

Let’s say you have built your company’s website, and it is rich in features and nice to look at. It also offers all the details customers are searching for.

Then, somebody asks you whether your site is ADA compliant. Suddenly, you feel rather alarmed while you consider your response.

Accessibility in Digital Marketing: Barriers and Abilities

Perhaps you were unaware that there are certain disabilities that make it hard for some people to view, access and use your site — and that is fine.

It is something that often slips under the radar while concentrating on the other elements of web design.

Nonetheless, it is wise to make sure that your site is, actually, ADA compliant. If this is not the case, implement the required changes as fast as you can.

Should you fail to do this, you run the risk of losing customers, who can not use your site. In addition, you might have a lawsuit filed against you.

(Prior to starting: if you are searching for assistance with ADA compliant website development, or accessible website design, we can assist you)

Accessibility in Digital Marketing:

The Meaning of ADA Compliant

The ADA (US Disabilities Act) makes sure that public and business organizations offer accommodation and access to people with a variety of disabilities.

This is why virtually all establishments you visit will have parking reserved for handicapped people, ramps for wheelchairs, and washrooms that are suitable for disabled people.

The legislation was introduced to encompass websites too because they were classed as ‘public places of accommodation’.

Nonetheless, based on the existing rules, you might wonder whether your site has to comply with ADA.

In all likelihood, it probably does. Here’s why:

Improving Digital Marketing Accessibility

Making Your Site Compliant With ADA
The complete website accessibility standards have not yet been officially revealed.

Notwithstanding, there’s an existing standard that companies can use as a guide — the level AA WCAG 2.0 technical criteria.

Founded in association with WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) and the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), these standards are a helpful point of reference.

Furthermore, the guidelines show how certain disabilities might hinder people, while they attempt to use your site, and what measures you can implement to facilitate engagement.

Think about executing the steps below to ensure website ADA compliance:

1) Check That the HTML is Clean and Accessible
Correct HTML uses bulleted lists, title tags, meta descriptions and other elements, which help visually challenged people to find items on website pages. Screen readers use these elements to find and read website content as well.

2) Provide Text Content Where Necessary
If your site features videos and graphics that contain key details, you should include text content with the same information. This will help disabled people, who can not view other types of multimedia.

3) Provide a Basic Website Version
You are rightly pleased with the appearance of your website, however, providing a basic version will help disabled people to navigate the website and locate content. Just dividing the content into a few categories, in a simplified layout, will make everything easier for lots of people.

4) Create High Contrast Pages
Often, visually impaired people can read web pages better in high contrast. You could either create your site this way or provide a way for web pages to be viewed in high contrast.

5) Omit Flashing Graphics
Graphics that flash, or videos with fast-moving images or flashing lights, can cause some people to have seizures. Therefore, it is best to avoid this type of content as a general rule.

6) Offer Keyboard Assistance
Some disabled people can not find their way around your website using a mouse. Keyboard assistance allows these people to navigate web pages using keyboard keys.

7) Make Sure ARIA Landmarks are Included
Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) help people to read web pages and understand the content. Also, it helps them to identify the location of the content, and know what actions they should take.

Accessibility in Digital Marketing: Wider Considerations

How Else is ADA Compliance Important?
Apart from the legal consequences, it is just sound business practice to make sure that your site complies with ADA.

By regarding your site as more than just a visual embodiment of your company, you make it accessible to over sixty million Americans with disabilities.

And, because more than seventy percent of prospective clients will click away from a site if they can not access it, it is only logical from a business standpoint to make it accessible.

Understanding Website ADA Compliance

Look at it as a different type of SEO — only you are not optimizing your site using keyword research, or other traditional online marketing strategies. Rather, you optimize it for a sizable audience of disabled people, who make up a significant chunk of your target audience.

It is not too hard to make your site comply with ADA — it basically involves inserting code, tools and other elements that allow disabled people to use their own resources to view your site.

For instance, partially blind people might use screen readers or braille displays, whereas people with restricted mobility or deaf people will use other tools to view and access your site.

The Chicago Web Factory has helped many businesses comply with ADA. Get in touch with us immediately, and we will be happy to discuss your specific needs.

 

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