The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design now apply to websites, and a broader range of businesses, and organizations than ever before. As a result, lawsuits and liability concerns have risen dramatically in the last 2 years, worrying website owners and keeping web designers and developers busy.
- The web component of ADA compliance is called WCAG, or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Now on version 2.1
- 3 levels of compliance are measured, labeled A, AA, and AAA.
- Most businesses and organizations need to comply with level AA
WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE?
- Color Contrast: Your websites color scheme needs to be checked for compliance. Background and foreground colors combinations can to be checked using online tools.
- Images: For website visitors with vision disabilities that use “screen readers”, images need to be described in words, otherwise known as “alt tags”.
- Code: Your code needs to be scanned, and updated to comply with WCAG standards. Online tools make this easy, but for large websites, this can be time intensive and costly.
- Content: Beyond the initial work of making your existing website structure and content compliant, staff updating your website need to be trained on how to properly add compliant content, such as in a blog post, or newsletter.
Don’t freak out! Much money is being made by scaring people. Take your time, do it right, don’t try to take shortcuts. It will improve your bottom line, and is not simply “insurance”.