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ADA Website Compliance Checklist (2024)

Man displaying ADA website compliance checklist in hands.

Accessibility is crucial in today’s digital world. Our ADA Website Compliance Checklist for 2024 helps you ensure your site welcomes everyone.

So stick with us and make your online presence not just compliant, but welcoming to every visitor.

What is an ADA-Compliant Website?

An ADA-compliant website is one that adheres to the standards outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), aiming to guarantee equal access and usability for individuals with disabilities.

The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and requires businesses and organizations to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to goods, services, and information, including online content.

Websites that are ADA compliant are accessible to all users, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, by integrating features and design elements tailored to accommodate individuals with disabilities, including those with visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, neurological, learning, and language disabilities.

Does my website need to be ADA-compliant?

While everyone should strive for a compliant website to welcome visitors of all abilities, the official laws on ADA compliance for websites are a bit of a gray area.

Generally speaking, if your company falls within the Title II or Title III category of the ADA (those are statewide and community governments, staffing companies, and employment institutions with 15 or more employees), you should pay specific attention to ADA regulations.

Achieving 100% compliance at all times can be challenging due to the constant influx of new content and updates.

So the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recommends a proactive approach. Take the time to review your website, along with your agency’s website policies and procedures, to identify any potential red flags that may signal ADA accessibility concerns.

Accessibility symbols for web: ear, eye, finger pointing.

ADA Compliance Checklist for Websites

Ensuring ADA compliance for your website can provide equal access and usability for all users.

Use the following guidelines to check your website for any potential accessibility red flags.

✅ Alt Text

Alt text, or alternative text, is like the voice for your images and buttons, especially for those using screen readers. Give a solid description in your alt text so everyone can understand what’s going on, whether they’re visually impaired or not.

✅ PDF Files

Make sure all PDF files on your website are easy for everyone to access. Whether it’s screen readers or other assistive tech, having text-based options or properly tagged and formatted PDFs ensures accessibility for all users.

✅ Captions

Adding captions and transcriptions to your video and audio files provides access to content for users who are deaf or hard of hearing. Captions should accurately reflect spoken dialogue and include relevant sound effects.

✅ Online Forms

Label online forms with descriptive HTML tags. Ensure that form fields are properly labeled and provide clear instructions to make it easy for all users.

✅ Color Contrast

Making sure there’s enough contrast between your content and background is key for folks with visual impairments. Think high-contrast combos and avoid the color-only route to ensure everyone’s getting the message loud and clear.

✅ Accessible Fonts

Fonts may seem like a small detail, but they can make a big difference, especially for those with reading disabilities like dyslexia. Opt for larger, easy-to-read fonts that work at various sizes, steering clear of overly fancy ones.

✅ Buttons

Integrate Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) labels for buttons to aid their functionality. ARIA labels provide additional context and information for users who rely on assistive technology to navigate the web.

Adding Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) labels to your buttons will help users with vision or hearing-related disabilities in understanding what they do.

✅ Skip Navigation

Include skip navigation links on every page to make bypassing repetitive content and navigating the page easy for users using screen readers.

✅ Keyboard Navigation

Making sure every part of your website is navigable with just a keyboard is important for those with mobility impairments. Keyboard shortcuts and accessible interactive elements are the way to go.

✅ Anchor Text

Avoid using generic phrases like “click here” in your anchor text and instead use descriptive words that accurately reflect the content or destination of the link, This will make it easier for users to understand and navigate.

✅ Accessibility Policy

Keep things transparent with a dedicated page for your website’s accessibility policy. It shows your commitment, outlines the steps you’ve taken, and offers resources for people to report any issues.

✅ Contact Information

Make sure people can find where to contact you loud and clear. Whether it’s email, phone, or physical address, making it easy to find from every page ensures everyone knows how to reach out.

✅ WCAG Compliance

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are internationally recognized standards developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Make sure your website meets all guidelines outlined in the WCAG to ensure your website is a welcoming space for everyone.

✅ Headings

Clear and concise headings not only enhance readability but also make navigation easier. Using hierarchical heading tags keeps things organized and helps users understand the content flow.

✅ Zoom

Enable features that allow users to zoom in on text and content. Allowing users to enlarge text and content caters to their individual needs, making your site accessible and user-friendly.

✅ Flash Images

Flash images might be appealing, but they can be a real headache for those with certain conditions like photosensitive epilepsy. Avoiding them ensures a safe and accessible browsing experience for everyone.

How to Achieve ADA Website Compliance

While implementing accessibility features can be complex, there are several ways to approach it.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Hire an Agency: A professional digital marketing agency can help you achieve web accessibility. They can assess your website, identify accessibility barriers, and implement necessary modifications.
  • Use Accessibility Tools: Tools like UserWay streamline the process of achieving ADA compliance by automatically identifying and resolving accessibility issues. Some of its features include screen reader compatibility, keyboard navigation, and visual adjustments.
  • Educate Your Team: Share this article with your web developers, designers, and content creators and make sure they understand ADA compliance and accessibility best practices.
  • Regular Audits and Monitoring: Conduct periodic accessibility audits to identify and address new accessibility barriers. This is easy to do with a tool like UserWay.

Conclusion

Nailing ADA website compliance is an important step in creating an inclusive online experience for all users.

Whether you decide to team up with an agency, use an accessibility tool, or a bit of both, putting accessibility front and center ensures your website is a welcoming space for everyone, no matter their abilities.

It’s not just about ticking off legal boxes; it’s a loud and proud statement that your commitment goes beyond the bare minimum.

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