Is your website ADA compliant? Chances are, this might be the first time you’ve heard of it, and that’s scary because of one word — lawsuit.
If you run a hospitality or e-commerce business in California, Texas, Florida and New York, this topic will have, undoubtedly, already come up — perhaps, through legal threats via an expensive law firm. You might be well aware that you desperately need to bug your marketing or IT team to update that code and make your website compliant ASAP, somehow, before your business has to spend thousands of dollars trying to remedy this problem. But what is an ADA compliant website exactly and where do you start?
What is ADA Compliance?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires certain businesses for people with disabilities to make accommodations to make it equally accessible to them. Several years ago, this typically pertained to brick and mortar businesses. After all, why should someone in a wheelchair not be able to enter a store if there isn’t a ramp? Or why shouldn’t that little girl with myopia have to struggle with reading that tiny print? Sounds fair, right? A few simple fixes here and there and, voila, everybody has equal access. Fast-forward to today and let’s substitute the “brick and mortar” and apply that same rule with “websites.” Still fair, right? And this is why it’s so important.
What should I do to make my website accessible?
The simple answer, in no uncertain, terms is that much like that old brick and mortar store owner had to pour concrete for that wheelchair ramp, you will need to fix your website’s code if you fail any of the major red flags (see links below). To figure that out, below is the essential collection of tools your website needs to pass various test.
Resources for Testing Website Accessibility
- Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool — https://wave.webaim.org
- Tenon.io — https://tenon.io
- Silktide Simulator — https://silktide.com/resources/toolbar
You’ll also want to ensure that you’ve fixed any template pages (think the post, page, archive and taxonomy templates for WordPress-powered sites). Sounds like a lot work? Well, if you encounter lots of errors, sure. But like every well-coded site, your web developer should be able to address most if not all of the pain points.
Also, for good measure, let’s ensure that your website is actually coded properly in the first place by running it through the official World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3c) markup validation service at https://validator.w3.org.
The Quick Fix
I’ve been laboring on this problem along with improving search engine visibility (ie. SEO), speeding up website loading time and a multitude of other related issues. What has resulted in all the continuous testing and tweaking is the platform you’re currently looking at — a grid full of headlines that’s easily accessible to everyone. If you’d like to have a website like this, save yourself a ton of time and headache, request your invite below.