If you have a website for your business (who doesn’t?) you may be at risk of being sued for not being ADA compliant. To avoid lawsuits – and to improve the user experience for individuals with accessibility needs – it’s important to make sure your website meets the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Before we get into how to make your website ADA compliant, let’s briefly touch on what ADA compliance is.
What Is ADA Compliance For Websites?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including employment, transportation, and communication.
When it comes to websites, the ADA requires that all businesses take steps to ensure that their sites are accessible to individuals with disabilities. This includes ensuring that all website content can be accessed and navigated by those who use screen readers or other assistive technologies.
While the ADA doesn’t specifically list out what must be done to make a website compliant, there are several Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that businesses can follow to ensure they are providing an accessible experience for all users.
How To Test Your Website For ADA Compliance
There are a few different ways to test your website for ADA compliance.
The first is to use an automated tool like the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool. This tool will analyze your website and provide a report on any accessibility issues it finds.
Another option is to hire a professional accessibility consultant to manually test your site and provide feedback on what can be improved. Contact us for a free evaluation & consultation!
Finally, you can also test your site yourself using a screen reader or other assistive technology to see how easy it is to access and navigate your content.
ADA Compliance Website Checklist
While it’s rarely possible (or realistic) to manually make a website 100% ADA compliant and keep it that way, if you want to take the DIY approach, here’s a checklist that includes some important things you’ll need to do:
☑️ Enable Keyboard Navigation
Make sure all website content can be accessed and navigated using only a keyboard. This includes ensuring that all links, form fields, and buttons can be reached and activated without the use of a mouse.
☑️ Always include alternative text for images
If you have any images on your site, make sure they all include alternative text (ALT tags) that describe what is shown in the image. This is important for individuals who are blind or have low vision and use screen readers to access website content, because it tells them what the image is about.
☑️ Make web forms compliant
If your website has any forms (for contact information, newsletter signups, etc.), make sure they are compliant with the latest web standards. This includes using labels for all input fields and making sure the form can be completed and submitted using only a keyboard.
☑️ Use captions and transcripts for videos
If you have any videos on your site, make sure they include captions and transcripts. This is important for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, as it allows them to access the audio content of the video.
☑️ Use easy-to-read fonts
Choose fonts that are easy to read, and make sure the text on your website is large enough that it can be comfortably read by those with vision impairments.
☑️ Use proper heading tags to organize the content
The content on your website should be properly organized using heading tags (H1, H2, etc.). This helps those who use screen readers to navigate your site, as well as makes it easier for everyone to scan and understand the page content.
Please note that this checklist is not comprehensive, but it will give you a great head start in working toward compliance.
How Much Does It Cost To Make a Website ADA Compliant?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the cost of making a website ADA compliant can vary depending on the size and complexity of the site, as well as the specific accessibility issues that need to be addressed.
In general, though, you can expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to make your website compliant, depending on the severity of the accessibility issues. For a completely manual re-build with ADA compliance integrated, it could cost as much as $30,000 or more.
Hiring a professional consultant or developer to help with your ADA compliance project will likely cost more than doing it yourself, but it’s important to consider whether the investment is worth it to avoid potential legal trouble down the road. Contact us for a quote today!
Can A Website Be 100% ADA Compliant?
Technically, there is no such thing as a 100% ADA compliant website, because the Americans with Disabilities Act is constantly evolving and there are always new accessibility guidelines being released. Additionally, most websites are ever evolving, meaning content is being added and changed on a regular basis, and every time new content is added there is a potential for accessibility issues to arise.
That being said, while it’s impossible to achieve 100% compliance, it is possible to get pretty close. By following the guidelines outlined in this article and using automated testing tools, you can make sure your website is as accessible as possible for everyone who visits.
I’m Interested In Making My Website ADA Compliant. Where Should I Start?
Making your site ADA compliant can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The most important thing is to start by doing an audit of your site to identify any areas that need to be improved. We recommend working with an agency who does ADA compliance work, to get a legitimate compliance report generated that identifies which specific aspects of your site need to be worked on.
We offer free ADA compliance reports. Click here to submit a request!
Once we provide you with a compliance report, we’ll discuss the next steps for making your site ADA compliant. We’ll also provide you with a free quote for our services, if you’re interested in working with us to make your website compliant.