ADA Compliance: building all Inclusive websites

Is your website ADA Compliant?

Is your website accessible for the visually impaired?  It’s probably something most of you haven’t thought of.  I myself hadn’t until recently when it was brought to my attention that a couple of businesses were being sued for not have websites accessible for the visually impaired.

 

Initially I thought this was kind of crazy. How is a blind person going to ‘see’ these websites, and how do I make a website work for someone who can’t see the content?

 

So I got to work researching and I came across this Ted Talk video. I highly recommend watching it. You will laugh and be touched and realize the importance of making sure all websites are ADA compliant even those that are not required by law, just because it’s the right thing to do. I’m telling you, watch it! He’s a funny guy. You will laugh!

Over 25 million Americans have trouble seeing, even with glasses on. So you can also look at as a loss of potential business!

 

Data source: American Foundation for the Blind, 2017, https://www.afb.org/research-and-initiatives/statistics/adults

After watching this video I realized the best way to make sure websites are ADA compliant is to learn how to navigate a website the way someone who is visually impaired does. I found that the most popular tools were the Iphone VoiceOver and JAWS, both screen reader programs. 

 

I found some video tutorials on how to use my VoiceOver on my iPhone and Macbook. Then I headed to some websites I designed and tried to navigate them without looking at the screen, and quickly realized how frustrating it is to navigate them! Some issues were popup forms completely blocking a website, keyboard arrows skipping over content, images that don’t describe their content, and having to go through the entire navigation menu every time I viewed a new page. 

 

By going through all the issues on a website this way I was able to fix them one by one and make navigating a website with a screen reader a smoother process.

Is your website legally required to be ADA compliant?

The following business are required to be ADA compliant:

  1. Private employers with 15 or more employees
  2. Businesses operating for the benefit of the public (hotels, parks, marinas, banks, ect.)
  3. All state and local government agencies.

Read more details here.

You can check your website for ADA compliance by using the following tool:

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