What Does ADA Compliance Mean?

Is your website ADA complaint? Being ADA compliant means that your website conforms with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It basically means that your website has been designed to be easily accessible to Americans who have a wide range of disabilities. If your website is inaccessible, it will be difficult for people with disabilities to use it. This can result in lawsuits against your company.

The Standards of Accessible Design were published by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in September 2010. Under these standards, all digital technology and information must be feature a design that makes it accessible to people with disabilities. Failure to do so will expose your business to lawsuits.

Making your website ADA Compliant

While the rules of compliance under the ADA are still being finalized, businesses are being encouraged to use the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG) as a guide on how to make their websites more accessible. The WCAG are guidelines by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to ensure accessibility of websites.

There are four principles that are covered by WCAG. These include ensuring your website is:

• Operable
• Perceivable
• Robust
• Understandable

How screen readers work

One major part of designing an ADA compliant website is ensuring that it can be easily accessed and scanned by screen readers. These are software programs that scan text that has been displayed on a computer screen and convert it into speech that the visually impaired can listen to. These programs are also beneficial to those with learning or cognitive disabilities.

There are various points to consider when designing for a screen reader:

• The reader should know what language to speak so that it understands the rules of pronunciation.
• The reader should understand the web content’s liner progression.
• Navigation should be made clear to the reader.

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