You may have heard in the news recently that some law firms and individuals are filing lawsuits against companies who they believe are in violation of the Americans with disabilities act of 1990 – ADA compliance. More specifically against companies whose websites may not be complaint. The ADA in case you don’t know is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the public. Websites are increasingly being considered as public accommodations under Title III of the ADA. Wondering how this affects your company’s website or mobile app?
So what exactly does your website have to be in order to be in ADA Compliance? It is a long list and you can find the latest best practice at the World Wide Web Consortium’s website at https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ . In a nutshell the document (it is kinda of long) describes the obvious things you would expect from a good web developer. Bake in the meta descriptions of a photo in the Alt text let’s say. Or provide closed captioning for any video. Simple enough, some places it gets a little trickier, in the case of buttons and their functions. If you have a button that is for submitting a form. The button should say that in it’s alt text, for example: this button is to submit form “XYZ”. You see many visually impaired individuals use text readers and other devices that read the guts of the website to know what’s going on. Since they have difficulty seeing or can’t see at all, the alt text description, is critical for them to interact with your content. Plus, it makes good SEO sense to put in a little more effort.
Another aspect of Title III of the ADA is something we at DNA have been doing as a natural outcrop of our esthetic, but genuinely didn’t know until recently that it was compliant. It is having the proper contrast in your color palate when designing. I know you’re probably thinking – “how does is that a thing?”. Think of the people who are fully or partially color blind (it’s a spectrum like everything else). Depending on the color palate your designer picks out, to a colorblind person there may not be enough contrast between the two – essentially looking really similar to each other on the greyscale. DNA Digital Marketing tends to be naturally compliant in creating simple high contrast color palettes. We know that psychologically speaking, the web viewer reacts more positively towards them while ADA compliance is top of mind.
Most website designers do not follow technical SEO best practices let alone creating websites that are ADA compliant.
One thing we at DNA can not stress enough is the importance of being compliant with the ADA.
It’s not only the law and the right thing to do, but it will actually help your website in its search engine optimization or SEO. Websites that are compliant do better in overall search because of all the searchable information in pictures, audio and video that are baked into the site from scratch. We DNA Digital Marketing pride ourselves of building our client’s websites in just that way. If you are curious or worried that your website is not compliant click the button below.
ADA is a civil rights law. If anyone of us have our civil rights violated, we all suffer that violation.