Many of us know about or have heard of ADA, the Americans With Disabilities Act. Passed in 1990, the original law stated that all “places of public accommodation” were legally required to remove any barriers that might hinder a disabled person’s access to a business’s goods or services. Think disabled parking requirements and wheelchair ramp mandates in building codes.
The Department of Justice amended the law in 2010, extending into businesses’ online presence. Website accessibility is about making sure that technology, including websites, mobile applications and more can be used by everyone, including individuals with disabilities.
In January of 2018, the Department of Justice withdrew ADA compliance for website access regulation. In an effort to protect the rights of people with disabilities, court cases have followed with mixed outcomes. Subsequently, a final ruling is expected sometime later this year. The result will likely set the standard for website accessibility for businesses.
ADA Digital Guidelines
So, imagine you’re colorblind, otherwise visually impaired or have limited mobile skills. Can you still see or utilize your website?
To be accessible to everyone, make sure that:
- All content can be read (or heard) on your site
- Every visual can be seen (or have explanatory captions) on your site
- All media on your website (i.e., scripts accompanying videos, something like closed captioning on television) can be viewed by all people with physical impairments
- Your site is fully navigable using a keyboard’s tab key, arrow keys, the enter key and the spacebar
As A Business, What Do I Do?
Currently, we are living in an anti-regulatory environment. However, to ensure the best possible experience for all visitors, Belgrave Associates works to make websites user-friendly and ADA compliant.
Accordingly, many of the guidelines (including but not limited to the list provided above) are what we at Belgrave consider to be best practices that we already implement on behalf of our clients.
How Can We Help You?
Undoubtedly, we will be watching this closely and advising our clients as we go. Specifically, we can run a “compliance checker” so you will know your website’s status and uncover fixes to improve performance. The cost is modest and will be based on your industry, your site architecture and design. So, if you’re interested, please contact us for a quote.