The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one of America’s most comprehensive and powerful pieces of civil rights legislation. Most people are aware of the physical accessibility accommodations businesses must make, such as automatic door openers and wheelchair accessible ramps. Most people are not aware that the ADA also applies to websites.
Under the ADA, all websites must be as accessible as ATMs, elevators, terminals and other user interfaces. Not only must your website be accessible to all on a laptop or desktop, but also on tablets and cell phones. Failing to comply with ADA standards creates non-optimal and awkward experiences for many site visitors with disabilities. Simply put, ADA website compliance is assuring that your website falls within the prescribed accessibility standards of the ADA and the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).
Remember to keep in mind that not everyone uses typical browsers like Google Chrome. There are many site visitors who use a variety of accessibility devices and programs to access this information, such as screen readers and braille keyboards. In order for these tools to correctly translate or convey the information contained on the webpage to the user, the website must be coded properly.
1. Partner with An ADA Website Compliance Agency.
Mention ADA compliance to most web developers and you’ll probably encounter a blank stare or two. First and foremost, find a developer familiar with the web platform or framework that your website uses and ask about how their development and design workflow addresses accessibility and compliance. If they tell you that they understand all of the complexities of building a compliant website, we highly recommend auditing them by using a company that specializes in website accessibility.
2. Audit Your Website Code.
The judicious next step is to run a technological audit on your website. The audit will scan your site and identify all the elements and code that does not currently meet web accessibility standards for ADA compliance. The results will give you an itemized list of the work required so that you can set your budget properly. Each site configuration has varying levels of remediation difficulty. Your ADA audit cost could range broadly from hundreds of dollars for a basic remediation to tens of thousands for a full site audit and remediation.