What is ADA compliance?
The Americans with Disabilities Act, which has been in effect since 1990, compels businesses to meet the accessibility needs of the customers they serve. Because websites are viewed as places of public accommodation under title III of this law, websites and website content must either be made accessible or provide users with an accessible alternative. If you or your team are uploading any content to your website, it’s important that you are aware of and practice using ADA compliance standards.
Why is it important?
There are two main reasons why making sure your website meets ADA compliance standards is important. The first, simply put, is that it’s the right thing to do. At ALINE, we believe that everyone should be able to access all of the content on every website that we build, and we are committed to removing all obstacles and boundaries that might make this challenging for users. The second is to avoid getting caught up in time-consuming and costly litigation. The ADA is a strict liability law, so being unaware of non-compliance or even being willing to make necessary changes to your site cannot be used as a defense.
If you or someone on your team is responsible for updating the content on your website, here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your content is ADA compliant:
- Provide Text Alternatives: If you are uploading any images, videos, or visual content of any kind, it’s important that you provide users with a text alternative or “alt text." Alt Text is simply a clear and concise description of the visual content that you have uploaded. All of ALINE’s new websites include an easy option to include this information, but some older sites may require some minor programming updates to ensure this is available for some content made custom for your site.
- Image Contrast and Text: If you are uploading text to your website, it’s important that the color of the text can be clearly differentiated from the background of the page, whether that is an image with a broad spectrum of colors or a simple single-color background. Also, text should never be included as a part of an image; instead, text and images should be uploaded separately so that software designed to read text out loud to users can clearly identify the content of the text.
- Provide Accessible Documents: All documents uploaded on to your website should also be accessible and meet ADA guidelines. For simple text files, this is a straightforward process, but for highly designed documents we recommend you consult with ALINE to ensure your documents meet ADA guidelines.
If you have any questions about your website and ADA compliance standards, feel free to reach out. From providing you with some simple tools to a full site audit, we have the knowledge and resources to keep you focused on growing your business and not worrying about your website.