What Is ADA, And How Can Your Website Be Compliant? – accessiBe
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all places open to the general public. The purpose of this law is to make sure people with disabilities enjoy the same rights and freedoms as everyone else.
The purpose of the ADA is to provide clear, consistent accessibility guidelines so that people with disabilities can more easily navigate through public spaces. Websites use tools like accessiBe to be compliant under ADA because they are considered a place of “public accommodation” that should be open to all users regardless of their ability or disability status.
Although online retail sites are not part of the list of public accommodations covered under the ADA, this could change as technology evolves. Think about when you were shopping online and could not easily access information or purchase items from a business’s website. The ADA seeks to correct this by requiring that all businesses have an accessible website to create a fair environment for all consumers.
The ADA applies to websites that sell goods and services and those that provide information, as it is the format of websites that determine whether or not they are required to be compliant under this law. So, for example, an online video subscription service would not have to abide by the ADA because videos can’t be purchased from a website. Still, an e-commerce site that takes orders and ships physical products must abide by the ADA because it is considered a store.
Here are various ways you can ensure ADA compliance on your website.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Host Multiple Versions Of Your Website
- 2 2. Provide Accurate Product And Service Descriptions
- 3 3. Ensure Cursors Or Focus Follows The User’s Preference
- 4 4. Make Sure Your Site Is Compatible With Screen Readers And Voice Recognition Software
- 5 5. Ensure The Site Is Perceptible To Color Blind Users
1. Host Multiple Versions Of Your Website
A website can be compliant under ADA by having multiple versions accessible to people with disabilities. The most common way for businesses to do this is by hosting one mobile-friendly version of their site and one desktop version. This allows the business to keep all information intact on both sites while ensuring that all users can access the information provided.
2. Provide Accurate Product And Service Descriptions
The law requires that websites provide an accurate description of their products and services so people with disabilities can make informed decisions about what they are purchasing online. This means that businesses must refrain from using imagery and video on their websites as these features aren’t accessible to people with disabilities.
3. Ensure Cursors Or Focus Follows The User’s Preference
A website must be programmed to allow users to control their cursor preferences, such as setting it to a default “hover” option rather than permanently using a pointer (like a finger) on touchscreen devices. Also, users should be able to choose their preferred method of navigation, whether it’s via keyboard or pointing device.
4. Make Sure Your Site Is Compatible With Screen Readers And Voice Recognition Software
Screen readers are software applications that help people with visual impairments navigate through the contents on your site by reading aloud what is displayed on the screen. The law requires that all websites have compatibility with screen readers and that all information on the site is accessible to those who use these software applications.
5. Ensure The Site Is Perceptible To Color Blind Users
People with color blindness have difficulty distinguishing between colors, which means they may not see certain elements of your website as you intended them to be seen by others. For example, green text with a green background could appear black to someone with color blindness. To make sure your website is compliant under ADA, it should be able to display the contents so that it’s perceptible for people who are color blind.