The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities. Over time these rights have extended to regulations for web accessibility to ensure individuals with disabilities can reasonably access website content.

Who does ADA compliance affect?

The following business has to have an ADA compliant website:

  • State and local government agencies
  • Private employers with 15 or more employees
  • Companies operating for the public’s benefit

Even if your business does not fall in the above category. Taking ADA compliance into account is part of being a good citizen and helps all users navigate and utilize your website.

Is My Website ADA Compliant? How to Check (and Fix)

There are a few online tools that can help scan your website and identify areas that need to be worked on for ADA compliance. Such as Lighthouse by Google and keeps a list of tools that can help evaluate accessibility (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List).

Many companies like ADA Website Compliance can also perform manual audits for ADA compliance. A manual audit involves evaluating every page of your site for accessibility, using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Once you have finished your Audit you have a few choices on how to fix the issues. If you have the resources you can have your in-house team address them. You can hire an ADA-compliant web design agency that specializes in this work. Or you can utilize a fully automated web accessibility solution for ADA & WCAG Compliance by companies like ADA Website Compliance.

ADA Compliance Checklist

To be fully compliant, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) A and AA standards must be met.

Level A Compliance

  • Images have alternate text that can be read by screen reader software.
  • Video content includes captions.
  • Video or audio-only content is accompanied by a text transcript or description.
  • Links that are provided to media players are required to view content.
  • Headings are presented in a logical order.
  • “b” and “i” tags are replaced with “strong” and “em.”
  • There are no empty links or heading tags.
  • Presentation does not rely solely on color.
  • Automatically-played audio does not occur or can be stopped.
  • The keyboard can be used to navigate the site.
  • Keyboard focus is never stuck on one particular page element.
  • Time limits provide notifications to the user.
  • Automatically scrolling or blinking content can be stopped.
  • No strobe effects or rapidly flashing colors occur on the site.
  • “Skip navigation” functionality allows keyboard users to quickly access content.
  • Page titles clearly and succinctly describe page content.
  • Buttons and links are clearly and logically named.
  • The language of each page is identified in code.
  • Elements receiving focus do not change content in a substantial way.
  • Invalid form input is identified to the user.
  • Forms have labels and legends that can be read by screen reader software.
  • There are no major validation errors.

Level AA Compliance

  • Live video or audio content includes captions.
  • Contrast ratio between text and page backgrounds is at least 4.5-to-1.
  • Text on pages can be resized to 200% while still maintaining form.
  • Images are not used where text can achieve the same purpose.
  • Pages on the site can be accessed in multiple ways.
  • Keyboard focus is visible and clear.
  • The language of content is identified in code with any language changes.
  • Menus and buttons are used consistently regardless of the user’s location in the site.
  • Users are given suggestions on how to solve input errors.
  • An error prevention technique is used whenever the user is entering sensitive data.
  • Underlined text that does not provide a link is removed.
  • Redundant links on the same page are eliminated or minimized.

Can an automated solution really keep you ADA compliant?

Some of the automated solutions can help keep you WCAG 2.1 & ADA Compliant, provide you with a Certification & Statement, re-scans, and fixes accessibility issues every 24 hours, and can be up and working in days like ADA Compliance Monitor.

Using contextual understanding and image recognition, ADA Compliance Monitor’s AI scans and analyzes websites to learn what elements and functionality they include, and adjusts them to blind users’ screen-readers. Providing ongoing WCAG & ADA compliance even when website update.

About the Author: Christopher Lara

Christopher Lara is the Boston Branch Manager at TheeDigital. He specializes in partnering with business leaders in Massachusetts to provide them with solutions to establishing a winning online presence. Give Christopher a call at 617-915-4477 to talk about web design, SEO, and digital marketing that will meet your needs.

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