Making sure your business is physically ADA compliant is more easily comprehensible than making sure your business is virtually ADA compliant. In order to follow the ADA guidelines on your website, your site must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and friendly to assistive technology for the disabled.
What Can You Do to Make Your Website ADA Friendly?
Making sure your business is physically ADA compliant is more easily comprehensible than making sure your business is virtually ADA compliant. Accessibility laws are ever-changing as well as how they apply to rapidly evolving technology. In order to follow the ADA guidelines on your website, your site must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and friendly to assistive technology for the disabled.
Important features for ADA Compliance
For a website to be fully compliant, we recommend consulting an Accessibility Expert such as Ilumino. The following features are things that you can do to make your website more ADA friendly.
Use Alt Tags
Using alt tags for images, videos and audio files will allow those with disabilities to hear or read alternative descriptions of the content. This is especially important for informative pieces of content such as infographics. Otherwise, they would not be able to view or hear those content pieces on your site. The alt tags will describe the content and the purpose it serves on the site. The exception to this rule is when an image is used purely for decoration. In this case, the alt text can be left empty so that the screen reader user is not distracted from the more important content on the page.
Text Transcripts for Video and Audio Content
Create text transcripts for video and audio content. These text transcripts help the hearing impaired by having the audio portion of the content displayed in text. An easy way to make your video content more accessible is by hosting the video on a streaming platform such as YouTube or Vimeo as these platforms create captions for your video.
Identify the Sites Language in the Header Code
Stating the language that the site should be read in will allow the text reader to identify the language code and function accordingly.
Create a Consistent and Organized Layout
Items on the site should be organized in a manner that will make the site easier to navigate for those that are disabled. Using proper semantic structure in your heading tags will help screen readers navigate through a page without skipping content. Instead of skipping a header level just because it looks good visually, use a CSS class to style your text so that it does not confuse screen reader users.
Offer alternatives and suggestions when users encounter input errors. If there are input errors occurring to the disabled user due to their need to navigate differently, then your site should instantly offer recommendations on how to better navigate towards the content they need.
Contrast and color use are vital to accessibility. Contrast is a measure of the difference in perceived “luminance” or brightness between two colors and is expressed as a ratio ranging from 1:1. There are several tools, such as WebAIM, that you can use to evaluate color contrast and assist you in making your page as visually usable as possible to individuals with low vision or varying levels of color blindness.