The United States enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 to ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities in all areas of public life.
In the years since the law has been extended to cover a wide range of accessibility barriers in the digital world.
For businesses, this includes creating websites that are accessible to people with disabilities.
ADA-compliant websites: what are they?
An ADA-compliant website is a site that has been designed to be accessible to people with disabilities. This can include features such as larger font sizes, alternative text for images, and more.
What does the ADA cover?
The ADA covers public accommodations in the United States. It prohibits businesses and other organizations that serve the public from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities.
A qualified individual can perform the essential functions of a job or participate in a state or local government program or activity with or without reasonable accommodation. The U.S. enforces the ADA.
Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ can bring lawsuits against state and local governments, businesses, and other organizations for failure to comply with the ADA.
Accessible websites offer benefits beyond ADA compliance
1. Search engine optimization improvements and increased site traffic
Making your website ADA-compliant can indirectly improve your SEO by making your site more accessible to a broader range of users, including those with disabilities. This can lead to increased traffic and engagement, which can, in turn, improve your SEO.
2. Develops innovative thinking in business
ADA compliance can develop innovative thinking in business by creating an environment conducive to creativity and new ideas. This can be done by encouraging employees to share their views and opinions and by providing opportunities for employees to experiment and try new things.
Additionally, ADA compliance can help businesses identify and address potential barriers to innovation, such as outdated policies or procedures. Today, almost all US websites fully comply with the stringent ADA-WCAG guidelines, thereby getting more prospects and customers. It is through the latest innovations like ADA video compliance, web flow accessibility, and web content accessibility, that an eCommerce or Shopify site is able to attract new prospects with disabilities, who eventually convert to customers. This is how they earn better revenue and profit margins through improved conversion rates. So, hiring an agency like “Accessibility Spark” which specializes in advanced web accessibility solutions, actually helps.
3. Boosts the reputation of your brand
There are many ways that ADA compliance can boost your brand’s reputation:
|-It shows that you are committed to providing accessible products and services for all customers, including those with disabilities. This can help build trust and confidence in your brand.
-ADA compliance can help improve customer satisfaction by ensuring that all customers can use your site.
-ADA compliance can help attract new customers, demonstrating that your brand is inclusive and welcoming to all.
4. A reduction in legal complications
If a website is not accessible to people with disabilities, it can lead to an accessibility lawsuit. For example, in 2019, Domino’s Pizza was sued for having an inaccessible website.
The plaintiff in the suit said he could not order pizza online because the website was not accessible to blind people.
The court ruled that the pizza company had a legal obligation to make its website ADA-compliant. This has established a precedent that disabled individuals could sue other companies over inaccessible websites.
How to make your business website ADA-compliant
There are a few easy ways to ensure your website is accessible to disabled users. One way is to add keyboard navigation, allowing users to navigate your site using a keyboard instead of a mouse.
Another option is to ensure all forms on your website are accessible so users with disabilities can complete them. You can also eliminate or adjust time-constrained elements, meaning users with disabilities will have enough time to complete tasks on your site.
Finally, you can simplify the visuals on your website. This makes it easier for users with visual impairments to understand and use your site.
Due to the specialized knowledge needed to pinpoint what accessibility features are required to improve a website, many companies hire outside accessibility firms.
These optimization firms utilize cloud-based solutions and AI to ensure sites are ADA-compliant and follow established Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
An example of a company that specializes in accessibility optimization is accessibe. They offer various services to help businesses make their websites accessible to users with disabilities.
These services include adding keyboard navigation, adjusting font sizes, and adding descriptive URLs. It’s encouraged to read accessibe reviews and reviews of any other firm before deciding to hire them.
Mashum Mollah is a tech entrepreneur by profession and passionate blogger by heart. He is on a mission to help small businesses grow online. He shares his journey, insights and experiences in this blog. If you are an entrepreneur, digital marketing professional, or simply an info-holic, then this blog is for you. Follow him on Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn