How to Make a Website ADA Compliant?

Updated on August 23, 2021 | by Evan Chase

ADA is short for the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is created to ensure the protection of people with disabilities from discrimination. How? It serves as a guide that will promote inclusivity and accessibility.

The scope of the ADA includes workplace, public accommodations, transportation, online platforms, technology, and more. So those who run or operate businesses that are within these should abide by the regulations of ADA compliance. The ADA was made way before the Internet so there is no specific mention of website requirements in the law but it is mentioned that if your business is considered a place of public accommodation and if you have a website for that business, that website has to be ADA compliant. To know more you may read more about website ADA compliance here.

Anyone can build a website but not everyone can create an ADA compliant website. So how can you create a website that follows the regulations of ADA compliance regarding the accessibility of websites?

Also Read: Data Privacy Guide- Definitions and Legislation

For alternatives you have to provide the following: 

  1. Images and non-text content need alternative text.
  2. Video and audio content should have a text transcript. The transcript should be clearly labeled, easy to find, and linked below the media.
  3. All videos with sound should contain accurate captioning.

For presentation you have to provide the following:

  1. Use proper markup techniques to structure your website’s content.
  2. Present content in a meaningful way and sequence so that it reads properly and to avoid confusion.
  3. When providing detailed instructions, make it available for multiple sensory abilities.
  4. Do not rely on color alone to convey information.
  5. Audio must be able to be paused, stopped, or muted.
  6. There must be a color contrast of at least 4:5:1 between all text and background.
  7. The text must be able to be resized up to 200% without negatively affecting the ability to read content or use functions.
  8. Do not use images for text unless necessary (eg logo)

For understandability you have to provide the following:

  1. Each page of the website needs a title.
  2. The purpose of each link should be clear based on its anchor text (e.g. don’t use “click here”)
  3. There are multiple ways to access different pages/information on a website (e.g. search bar, nav menus, breadcrumbs, helpful links after content).
  4. The language of the website can be changed to the user’s liking.

All in all, you just have to make your website accessible and useful in a way that the content and information on the website is absorbed whether visually or auditory. It must also be easy to use. There shouldn’t be any confusion with the controls and functions. Navigation has to be predictive and intuitive. The placement of content and information has to make sense. It shouldn’t be all over the place. Layout, colors, the typeface used are important parts to make your website accessible. They don’t just play a role in the aesthetic aspect of the website. It also helps with ADA compliance. Hopefully, this article has helped you with improving your website to become more ADA compliant!

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