This week we are going to cover ADA Compliance of websites.
What’s up Fish Fans! My name is Marcus. You’re watching Marketing Madness, the Blue Fish vlog!
Recently we have had a number of our clients asking us about ADA Compliance as it relates to their website. Apparently, legal teams around the country are preparing for lawsuits regarding ADA Compliance. But let’s change that into something more positive. What if I told you that your business could be reaching 12% more clients online with a few website changes? That’s right. The American Community Survey (ACS) estimates the number of people with disabilities in the US in 2016 was 12.8%. And this statistic is, unfortunately, rising.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has done an incredible job of protecting individuals with disabilities from discrimination when it comes to physical building regulations. Things get a bit blurry when we talk about online regulations. Recently, the Department of Justice has made it clear that the ADA applies to the internet, but further rulings are still underway.
Many people with disabilities use assistive technology that enables them to use computers. They might be utilizing computer programs or devices, such as screen readers, text enlargement software, and computer programs that enable people to control the computer with their voice. Some use assistive technology that is built into a computer's operating system. For example, basic accessibility features in computer operating systems enable some people with low vision to see computer displays by simply adjusting color schemes, contrast settings, and font sizes. Operating systems enable people with limited manual dexterity to move the mouse pointer using keystrokes instead of a mouse. Many other types of assistive technology are available, and more are still being developed.
Poorly designed websites can create unnecessary barriers for people with disabilities, just as poorly designed buildings prevent some people with disabilities from entering. Access problems often occur because website designers mistakenly assume that everyone sees and accesses a web page in the same way. This mistaken assumption can frustrate assistive technologies and their users.
If you want to see how your website fairs go to webaccessibility.com and run the test against your website.
This is a multi-layered topic for sure. There are various levels of compliance. Sometimes it is a simple fix to make an existing website compliant. Sometimes it requires scraping the whole thing and starting from scratch.
When updating web pages, remember to ensure that updates are accessible. For example, when images change, the text equivalents in “alt” tags and long descriptions need to be changed so they match the new images. If you have specific questions about compliance there is a technical assistance document available on the ADA Home Page at ada.gov.
Here are some common problems and solutions for website accessibility:
Problem: Images Without Text Equivalents
Solution: Add a Text Equivalent to Every Image
Problem: Documents Are Not Posted In an Accessible Format
Solution: Post Documents in a Text-Based Format
Problem: Specifying Colors and Font Sizes
Solution: Avoid Dictating Colors and Font Settings
Problem: Videos and Other Multimedia Lack Accessible Features
Solution: Include Audio Descriptions and Captions
If you want a second opinion on how you can take your website from non-compliant, to legal and user-friendly for all clients. We are well versed in making websites compliant. We build accessibility into our proposals and integrate it into our design and development workflow.
Well, that’s a wrap for this week! I want to thank you for checking in. Make sure to hit that like button. And if you have any questions or comments leave them down below. If you want to talk about how Blue Fish can help you grow your business just send us a message and we’ll get the conversation started!