There has been a lot of talk about the importance of making a site ADA compliant in the recent days. The big question is – why you need to make your website ADA compliant?
First of all, I’ll explain to you what ADA compliance is and why it’s so important to have an ADA compliant website. Then, I’ll tell you how to make a site ADA compliant.
Lastly, I’ll provide you with tips to help you make a website ADA compliant. Keep on reading to learn more about making your website ADA compliant.
Wondering if your website is ADA compliant? Check out our ADA compliant website checker
What is ADA Compliance?
First of all, let’s try to figure out what ADA compliance for websites means. The Americans with Disabilities Act was created in 1990 and its main goal was to protect people with disabilities against discrimination. The so called ADA compliance for a website is all about making your website content accessible for people with disabilities.
In other words, you need to make sure that your site meets ADA standards for disabilities. You need to be sure that people with disabilities will be able to find all the necessary information on site’s web pages easily and quickly.
How to Make a Site ADA Compliant?
The next important question is – what needs to be done to make your website ADA compliant? Actually, there are different types of site accessibility issues. These include perceivable issues, operable issues as well as understandable issues and robust issues. Now, let’s take a closer look at each type of these site’s accessibility issues and try to figure out how they can be fixed.
– Let’s say that it’s difficult for people with disabilities to find the necessary information on your site and process it. That means that your site has perceivable issues. Luckily, this type of site’s accessibility issues can be easily solved.
All that you need to do is to provide either audio files or video files on your site’s web pages. If you do this, you’ll make it easy for disable people to get the access to the information that’s available on your website.
– You also need to pay a close attention to website’s navigation. If people with disabilities find it hard to navigate on your website, then your site has operable issues. In order to prevent these kinds of things from happening, the website should have the navigation that can be operated via keyboard-only commands.
Make sure that your website is fully accessible without a mouse. As a website owner you need to make it possible for users to navigate web pages with the help of an arrow or tab buttons. As a result, people with disabilities will get an opportunity to navigate on the website easily and quickly.
– Do site’s users find it difficult to compose error messages on a website? Traditionally, this type of message contains the description of the error as well as the suggestions on how these errors need to be fixed. If this is the case, your website has understandable issues.
– Would you like to make a site that can be easily accessible by people with disabilities? If so, you can be sure that your website is compatible with the most up-to-date screens.
Plus, you must be prepared to update your website if such a need arises in the future. If this doesn’t happen, then your website has robust issues.
Tips for Making a Site ADA Compliant
Now, it’s time to make a website ADA compliant. That means that you need to make website’s content and all of its functions accessible to people with disabilities. People with disabilities should be able to access content as well as graphical elements on your website.
Also, it shouldn’t be difficult for people with disabilities to navigate on the website and interact with its images, buttons and other types of graphical elements. Below, we would like to provide tips to help you make a site ADA compliant.
– It all begins with an audit of a website. It’s pretty clear that as a website owner you have to work constantly on website’s accessibility issues and do your best to get these issues fixed as soon as possible. First and foremost, you have to conduct an audit and check a website for accessibility issues.
What is the best way to do a website audit? It makes a lot of sense to use such a tool as Google Chrome’s Wave Tool to check a website for accessibility issues. This tool will help you figure out what types of accessibility issues need to be fixed on your website.
The reality is, this type of a tool allows website owners to identify different types of issues including missing alt tags, missing styles and others.
– The next thing you need to do is to make site’s images readable. Each image on your website has to be described properly. We all know that Alt Tags are used to describe images on site’s web pages. If you leave Alt Tags on site’s images empty then screen readers, players, voiceovers and similar types of devices are likely to find it hard to recognize what site’s images are about.
– Other site’s elements need to be described as well. It’s recommended to describe buttons, headings and links on a website. It would be better to use lighter and smaller fonts on a website. You should also use light backgrounds on your website. It goes without saying that this will definitely help you make your website’s elements visible for users with disabilities.
– It’s crucial for you to use the best content writing practices. Your goal is to keep website content easy to read. It would be nice to write website content in simple and conversational style. People with disabilities will be able to scan and read texts on your site’s web pages easily.
And of course, the content on your site’s web pages need to be well-structured. That means that you should use headings as well as sub-headings in the texts provided on your website. By doing so, you’ll be able to divide content on web pages into small pieces. If your website content is properly structured, scan readers will definitely do the fantastic job for users.
As a result, it would be easy for people with disabilities to recognize texts on site’s web pages.
– Make sure that your website is keyboard accessible. So, users should be able to get the access to the content on your site’s web pages without a mouse. Actually, they should only use either an arrow or tab buttons to access your website content.
– And remember, your goal is to develop a properly coded website that’s free of errors. That’s why it’s so important for you to check a website for different types of code errors. In other words, you need to create a website with clean code. If code errors of any type are found, they obviously must be fixed as soon as possible. It’s recommended to use standard HTML tags in order to code a website.
– Actually, there are many ways to get the access to website content. So, it’s incredibly important for you to pay a close attention to site’s navigation. Visitors should be able to navigate through your website in a number of different ways.
– Most likely that your website has online forms. So, you need to make all of your site’s forms clear and easy to use. Make sure that users will not find it difficult to fill out forms on a website. Plus, it would be better to have static forms on a website. Therefore, users will find it easy to control this type of forms on your site’s web pages.
– People who experience vision problems may find it hard to recognize text on your site’s web pages. So, it would be nice for you to make texts on your site’s web pages scalable. It’s a great idea to provide site’s visitors with an opportunity to increase text size on a website.
– Another important thing that you need to do is to pick the right font for texts on your site’s web pages. Obviously, you should aim to select fonts that match your background color. It’s pretty clear that you shouldn’t use light font on light background. It would be nice for you to pick dark fonts on light background.
The minimum font threshold needs to be 4.5:1 in order to achieve contrast from background. Keep in mind that all of the texts available on your site’s web pages have to be easily recognized by a screen reader. So, you should do your best to make your site’s fonts readable.
It’s incredibly important to use the right type of fonts for texts available on your site’s web pages. Among easy to read fonts are: Georgia, Open Sans as well as Quicksand. That means that use one of these fonts for texts available on your site’s web pages.
– It also really makes a lot of sense to provide audio descriptions for videos available on your site’s web pages. There is no doubt that audio in video will greatly contribute to site’s usability and make a website ADA compliant.
– If you would like to make your website ADA compliant, then you should either limit or avoid automatic content on a website. There is the evidence that elements like pop-ups and blinking content negatively affect site’s use experience. So, you should hide all of these elements on your website. Try to get rid of any type of automatic content on your website wherever it’s possible.
– Picking the right type of graphics is a key to making a site ADA compliant. That’s why it’s so important for you to be very selective when it comes to choosing graphics for site’s web pages. Let’s say that you really like flashing graphics. If this is the case, you need to pick graphics that don’t flash more than three times per second.
There is no doubt that audio description would be a good addition to the graphic of your choice.
– Place all of site’s elements in a logical way. You need to place all of content blocks on a website logically. So, it wouldn’t be difficult for visitors to find all the necessary information on a website and make use of its functions.
– Make your website content pause-friendly. There is no better way to make a website ADA compliant than to provide pause-friendly content on its web pages. The big question is – how to make this happen? Let’s assume that your website has videos with the auto play feature.
If this is the case, you obviously need to remove this type of videos from your site’s web pages or just limit them. Plus, you should provide site’s visitors with an opportunity to pause content on your site’s web pages when such a need arises. Does your website have such elements as automatic scrolling or slideshow movements?
If so, you need to ensure that site’s users will be able to slow down your content. Above all, users should be able to pause your website content with the help of a keyboard. All of this will make it possible for you to make your website more ADA compliant.
– Track the latest changes and keep your website up-to-date. It’s no surprise that technologies are constantly evolving. Therefore, you constantly need to adjust your website to the latest compliance changes. And of course, you should aim to implement the most innovative web practices into your site in order to make it ADA compliant.
Do you need to create an ADA compliant site?
Or, maybe, you only want to update your existing site and make it ADA compliant? One way or another, contact us today!
Finepoint Design is a reliable web design and digital marketing agency in Michigan that everybody can trust! We are always happy to develop an ADA compliant site for your business that fits all of your needs and budget!