This question and other related ones are becoming more common ever since the Department of Justice released certain guidelines in 2010. ADA, in most cases, was considered from a perspective of physical businesses and properties. However, the release of the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design changed all that. Companies are now required to maintain their sites in a manner that allows disabled people to easily use and access them. Is your company website ADA accessible? Check using this link and avoid possible litigation by malicious parties who want to make a quick buck off you.
If you have read the ADA, you will find anywhere where the Act mentions websites. However, title III of the ADA has been interpreted so by the US Courts and the Department of Justice. The phrase ‘public accommodations’ has been interpreted to apply to websites since people can meet and interact virtually. With that logic in mind, you can perceive the need for websites to integrate features that will allow disabled people to access your website.
When it comes to ADA website accessibility, two things can be considered: the first is the functionality of your website in terms of content, and the second is the actual accessibility from a technical angle.
What the US courts and the Department of Justice use in gauging the accessibility of websites is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA. It has a number of requirements that are commonly used to bring accusations against particular website companies. What you should know about the WCAG is that it is quite a technical document and the wording may leave you with a sour taste. It may be quite hazy at times. And you might not know what quite to apply. Let’s help you out a bit.
- Alternatives. This asks the website to provide alternative content, apart from the text. This may come in the form of images, audio, and videos with captions.
- Presentation. Content should be presented in an orderly and sequential fashion. If audio is used, it should be possible for the user to pause or mute. No overuse of color, text, or images to portray information.
- User Control. Users can independently use the keyboard or mouse to control the content on the website. Users must have the ability to pause, hide, or stop content when they want to.
- Understandable. Unique headings and titles should be provided to every page of a website. Headings must also be clear and short.
- Predictability. Consistency of information is a key requirement in this section. The website should also be able to identify and correct the mistakes done by the user.
Please be advised that the above is not a comprehensive list. We ask that you read the WCAG deeply to understand what is required of you.