While there aren’t any surefire laws that websites have to adhere to
when it comes to accessibility, ensuring your website is ADA compliant
can be a good idea. Digital accessibility refers to websites,
applications, and digital content that anyone can use. It takes into
account the cognitive, speech, motor, auditory, or visual disabilities
individuals may have. The American Disabilities Act (ADA) has guidelines
that websites must follow for the public to access them effectively.
ADA Compliance Levels
The ADA is self-regulation based on the Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines (WCAG). There are three levels of compliance: A, AA, and AAA.
The WCAG notes that even though no website can be 100% accessible for
everyone, it is still best to aim for the AAA level of compliance as a
Here are some things you can do to make sure that your website is ADA
Color for Enhancement Only
Color should only be used to enhance the website and never to convey
information or meaning. Many people cannot distinguish between certain
colors. As an example of this, a bar graph on your website should also
contain patterns that differentiate between each set of data instead of
just differing colors.
There should also be ample color contrast so that it is easier for
people to distinguish between them.
Inline Messaging and Labels on Forms
Screen readers are often used by many people on websites, and the
purpose of these readers is to read the text on any website for you.
Hence, any instruction you write should be concise and clear. You can
also use helper text and labels in forms so that users can read these.
Inline error messaging can help users realize if they have missed a
field or incorrectly filled out any part of the form.
Video and Images with Text
All videos and images on the platform should have meaningful alt text to
describe the image so that users can access them. You can add the text
through your CMS, which will allow any visually impaired users to read
the text through their screen readers. There should also be options to
pause any animation or video since some people may be prone to seizures.
While designing layouts and the visual order of your page, you should
consider how a user with a screen recorder will navigate through the
website. Headings should be used appropriately.
Users should be able to navigate through your website through the tab
key if they are unable to use the keypad. Every navigation item should
have a focus indicator that also highlights every element so people know
where they are on the page while browsing.
Informative Call to Action
Any hyperlinks and buttons should have a description so that users know
the next step when they click on them. Instead of leaving them
open-ended, being more intentional with them can make your website more
accessible. For example, you can label an option as ‘Order now’ instead
of just ‘click here.’
Ensuring your website is ADA compliant is not hard to do at all since
all it requires is some thought when designing the website. There are 42
million people who have a disability in the US alone; hence, making sure
you change your website according to the guidelines is important and
also ensures that people who want to visit your website can do so
without any issues.