Does your business allow wheel chair access and accept service animals? How about provide accommodations for those with vision impairment on your website? Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in places of public accommodation. In this digital age, that includes websites and mobile applications. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ruled that websites should be fully accessible to individuals who have vision, hearing, and physical disabilities.
In 2015 and 2016, many companies and universities across the United States received letters from plaintiff law firms on behalf of disabled individuals. The letters identified ADA violations on the recipient’s websites. If your website is not ADA compliant, you are at risk for a lawsuit and other government action.
ADA Website Guidelines
Okay, so your website has to be accessible. But what are the specific guidelines the ADA has in place?
- Add a text equivalent to every image
- Post documents in a text-based format
- Avoid dictating colors and font settings
- Include audio descriptions and captions
For a detailed list and more information, visit the ada.gov website.
How to fix your website:
First, you need to check if your website is compliant. You can perform a simple and fast test, by putting your web address into the Wave evaluation tool. Keep in mind that this is just a starting point to give you an idea of where your website stands. There is no evaluation tool that completely replaces a human being looking through your site.
After the initial evaluation, you need someone to go through the pages of your site individually. The fastest and most certain way to guarantee compliance is to contact a qualified web design agency. They can perform an audit on your site and provide you with a plan for updating your content. Make sure that you fully interview the agency to guarantee they are up to date on ADA compliance.
If you decide to perform the audit on your own, make sure you review the ADA guidelines in detail.
Although changing your website and mobile app may seem daunting, it is a step in the right direction to guaranteeing every customer has equal access to the resources your business offers. If you would like help with this process, please contact Hybridge via email at info at hybridge.com or phone, 888-353-1763.