Having an online presence is a must for any business or organization. While you might have a following on social media platforms, a website is an appropriate way to grow your business and take it to the next level. There are many factors to be considered when launching a new site. One of the most important is compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ADA has some provisions known as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that offer actionable steps for any website. While this article has mentioned some essentials, you can find out more on this website.
Many websites have restricted websites to the use of a mouse. The WCAG recommends that keyboard navigation should be possible. Your website should allow the use of common navigation commands such as the ‘Esc’ key to close down tabs or menus and the use of ‘Enter’ to execute a command.
Description of images
“A picture is worth a thousand words”. Images on your website are essential. They allow you to pass across vital information. But consider a website visitor who has a visual impairment and cannot make your picture. A solution for this is to add a description of the image also known as an ‘alt text’. The alt text will communicate the same message that the picture was meant to pass across.
Audio and video content alternatives
Audio and video also require an alternative access solution. Some citizens have hearing and visual impairments. The same information is passed across through text. Images, videos, or audio should be presented through these alternative solutions. One particular option is the use of sign language for those with hearing impairments.
Websites may have timed elements or sessions on the pages. An individual will be asked to submit information within a certain time or click on a tab to access some information. The time constraints may not be practical for individuals who are relying on keyboard navigation or other input tools to move on your website. Make intentional steps to either increase the time or protect the user’s information if the time runs out.
Many citizens suffer from epilepsy and other related conditions. And one of the triggers of epilepsy is flashing content. It is recommended that no content on your website should flare more than three times in an instant.
By ensuring that your content is ADA compliant, you will be setting your website apart from the competition. Your website and content will be more accessible and will gain greater recognition and more revenue.
In addition, there is the issue of compliance and enforcement. ADA enforcement is still a bit murky but that is not an opening for negligence. Address these issues from the onset and avoid the possibility of litigation by individuals and other malicious parties. Compliance sets you on a path of lasting success and peace of mind.