ADA Website Compliance Checker
The American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law 30 years ago and prevents discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. That also includes the internet and in 2019 there were 2,256 ADA website-accessibility lawsuits filed in federal courts.
How can you know if your website meets the compliance standards set forth by the ADA? The United States Government adopted the accessibility standards called the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. This act outlines standards for the accessibility of information technology, the internet.
Does ADA compliance refer to my business?
ADA compliance applies to the following businesses:
- State government agencies
- Local government agencies
- Private employers with 15 or more employees
- Companies operating for the benefit of the general public
Even if your company doesn’t fall within the parameters set by the ADA, it’s still important for your website to meet the standards of the ADA because you want to make your site accessible to all individuals. By making your website ADA compliant you give yourself the opportunity to meet the needs of all consumers, practice equality, and generate more leads for your business.
What happens if my website isn’t ADA compliant?
Facebook, Dominos, Uber, and Winn Dixie, to name a few, are major corporations that have been sued for not having a website compliant with the standards outlined by the ADA. If your website fails to meet ADA standards then you run the risk of being sued, having to pay court fees, and being forced to pay fines. Federally funded organizations can lose money and fines can be anywhere between $55,000-$150,000 depending on the number of offenses.
It’s possible that your business can afford to pay those fines but the bad press from the lawsuit can damage your business’s branding. You don’t want to be known as the business that doesn’t care about people with disabilities, and this will negatively affect whether or not people use your business’ products or services.
How can I check if my website is ADA compliant?
There is more than one way to determine if your website is ADA compliant. Check the following options to determine which method is right for your business:
Free Compliance Checkers
Companies like the Web Accessibility Initiative can check for compliance on your website. These companies look at your website to determine if they are in congruence with the ADA standards. The drawback is that these sites can only check one page at a time. However, these companies can provide resources about how to make your website ADA compliant.
The Web Accessibility Initiative also provides a list of resources and tools your site can use to meet the compliance standards. They also provide education and specific programs for each type of issue you may find on your website. WordPress sites can use a free plug-in to check for ADA compliance as well.
You have the option to manually audit each page of your website to ensure that it’s compliant with ADA standards. Individuals and organizations from around the world have developed the Web Content Assesibiity Guidelines (WCAG) to provide the basis for ADA compliance.
This checklist is massive and can take lots of times but it ensures that your website adheres to the following principles:
- Perception: Does everyone visiting your website have access to the information? Does your website provide text, audio, and video with transcripts and alternatives for users with disabilities?
- Operation: Does your website provide individuals with the opportunity to navigate and use all of its functions?
- Comprehensible: Do you provide instructions on how to use the tools of your website? Are users able to use your site in a clear and straightforward manner? By adding instructions to your site you give everyone the opportunity to take advantage of all of it’s features.
- All-encompassing: An ADA compliant website will provide resources for all users to have the same experience. The information provided on your site will be available to all the users that visit your site in spite of their disabilities.
If your business is less than 15 employees, then a manual audit may be all that you need, however, if your business falls within the parameters of the ADA guidelines, then it is advantageous for your business to invest in a professional audit because the repercussions of not being ADA compliant could prove devastating.
Hiring an agency to evaluate your website can be very useful for your business. You’ll save time and energy while ensuring that an experienced agency reviews your website and creating a plan to make sure your site is in compliance. Some agencies may even have the resources to implement the plan for you and provide a full-service experience.
ADA Compliance Website Creation
According to PEW Research Group, more than 75% of individuals with disabilities are using the internet. It’s important for your business to meet all internet users where they are by providing content that is not only valuable but accessible. Here are a few suggestions on how you can create a website that’s ADA and WCAG compliant:
- Build: You can choose to use your business’ web development team to create an ADA compliant website on your own. It’s important to remember that your website needs to have alt-text, provide transcripts, include captions, disables auto-play for media content, uses HTML properly.
- Plug-ins: WordPress and other website creation tools provide plug-ins that can make sure your website is ADA compliant. These plug-ins can audit your site and add tools to make your site accessible for all.
- Outsource: Your business can hire an agency to make your site ADA compliant. A professional agency will have experience making sure that websites are in compliance and will know how to design your site so that it meets the web accessibility guidelines.
If you want to work with a world-leading full-service marketing agency and have us check your website for compliance, then contact us now at On The Marketing, Inc. We have experience designing and building ADA compliant sites, and helping business grow their internet platforms.