Year by year, lawsuits for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are continuing to rise. Due to the enduring popularity of the internet, it is now an essential part of administering websites to ensure that they are adhering to ADA regulations.
That is why we have come up with our own simple compliance checker you can access here: https://adacompliancepros.com/ada-website-compliance-checker/
For a great many number of people, navigating the internet is no challenge. All you have to do is to get a device in hand and connect to a reliable network, and you are good to go.
But for millions of people around the world, particular challenges may be encountered. That is what Beyonce, Fox News, and Burger King have all found out in recent years; names that you probably don’t expect to see in the same sentence.
All three have found themselves the recipients of class-action lawsuits filed by persons with disabilities over non-compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
It does not take rocket science to figure out why we should safeguard against discrimination even on the internet. But it does take quite some know-how to ensure that this is always done.
After all, every person in the world who might visit your website is unique and there is no saying when you could still be amiss with a few tiny details.
The P.O.U.R. Principles
The current standard for accessibility on the internet is the WCAG 2.1 as published by the World Wide Web Consortium. When you observe these guidelines, you are following these four basic principles:
Websites are highly visual media, so of our five senses, they rely heavily on our sense of sight. That is why a perusal of common complaints lodged in ADA lawsuits will yield you a common denominator: that they are unable to equitably communicate information.
For text media, this means ensuring font sizes and colors are following recommended values, while for video content, this requires the presence of closed captioning that goes beyond dialogue.
Visitors to various websites cannot be expected to stay on only one page every time. We are always clicking links or selecting particular options and that is why navigation is a top concern for web accessibility.
To test if your site is amenable for all users, it is critical that it can also be navigated by exclusively using keyboard commands in case visitors will be unable to use computer mouses.
Aside from being navigable, websites must also be understandable. Even if you are able to provide the easiest tools for navigation, these will be useless if they are hard to comprehend.
In this regard, simplicity is crucial. Make sure that the language you use is not too complex and that this is consistent throughout all pages.
Technology is constantly changing. Users may be accessing information via a smartphone or home computer. That is why your website must be ready to adapt to different devices and to accommodate certain tools visitors will be making use of to overcome their challenges.