Communication has revolutionized with the rise of the internet. Websites created before 2000—or even 10 years ago—have changed drastically. Over the years, the evolution of websites has transformed the way we do everyday tasks.
In a previous blog, we discussed the importance of keeping your website updated as more users utilize their mobile devices to do things like order pizza, send pictures or buy furniture. Most businesses benefit from having a mobile-friendly website in today’s competitive digital market, but is your site mobile-friendly for everyone?
The web provides access to millions of written, audio and video content pieces, but not everyone is able to view them in the same way. Your website needs to accommodate people with disabilities of all kinds. If your business’ objectives promote inclusiveness, it’s best your website reflects that corporate value. Having an ADA compliant site not only generates higher traffic, but also establishes credibility and integrity—not to mention, it can avoid a potential lawsuit.
A study by Georgia Tech’s Wireless Engineering Rehabilitation Research Center found that 92 percent of people with disabilities use a wireless device such as a cell phone or tablet. Having an inaccessible site is likely to turn users away and potentially send them to your competitors. After reading this, are you wondering if your website is accessible? Our team has put together a quick overview of what you need to know to ensure you are erring on the side of caution, so you don’t miss out on potential business.
What is ADA compliance?
The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design states that all electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities. ADA compliance ensures that your website falls within these standards. Not only does an ADA compliant website allow your business to cater to a larger audience, it is also necessary for internal employees who may be disabled.
How do you make your website ADA compliant?
First and foremost, evaluate your current website. There are programs you can use that rate the accessibility of your website. Another alternative is to manually test the site with screen reader software. An ADA compliant website must meet the criteria within the four categories outlined in the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:
- Images should have descriptive alt tags. These allow site readers to describe images audibly.
- Fonts should be easy to read. This includes color and size.
- The site should operate in a predictable way, using helpful labels where applicable. This includes styles and elements such as buttons, headers etc.
- Videos should have an option for closed captions and allow users to pause or slow down content (with a keyboard function as well).
Creating a website that’s ADA compliant is certainly not a one-time fix. It is a process that takes time and does not happen in one day. Finding a partner that can help your company develop a checklist to figure out what you can do now and what you need to work on is crucial to staying digitally inclusive. Noisy Trumpet can help make your website ADA compliant and ensure that all users are able to navigate your site and find the information they are looking for. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!
This article originally appeared on the Noisy Trumpet blog, reprinted with permission.