How To Test Your Website For ADA Compliance
- 553 views
ADA Compliance is a concise summary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessibility Design, which was released by the US Department of Justice in the year 2010. In more specific terms, ADA compliance refers to making all information and communication technology (ICT) accessible to people with disabilities (PWDs).
ADA Compliance applies to state and local governments, private enterprises with 15 or more workers, and any entity that serves the public interest. Your business or organization will almost certainly be located within this coverage, meaning that your website must be accessible to people with disabilities. Even if you determine that ADA Compliance does not apply to your company or organization, it is ethical and practical to design a website that does not exclude anyone. There are 61 million disabled people in the United States, some of whom may be your customers.
It is important to point out that if your website is not ADA compliant, you are liable for a lawsuit that could be filed against your company. Many law firms are scanning hundreds of websites daily for non-compliance so that they can file lawsuits that cost businesses and organizations millions of dollars every year. Even if your business does not intentionally exclude or discriminate against PWDs from visiting or using it, you could lose a considerable amount of money in these legal suits if your website is found to have ADA Compliance issues. You can avoid this risk by being preemptive and performing your Website ADA Compliance Test today and making improvements where gaps have been identified.
Now that you know what ADA Compliance means and the risks of non-compliance pose, let’s talk about what it means for your website to be ADA compliant. It is correct that the US Department of Justice has not released official ADA Compliance Guidelines. It is also true that the department has provided the necessary recommendations that can be used in making websites and their user experiences ADA compliant. As a result, there is no justification for not making one’s website ADA compliant.
The ADA recommendations for websites have been enunciated in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which have been updated from time to time with the goal of firming up the gains made regarding accessibility. WCAG 2.0 was released on December 11, 2008, WCAG 2.1 on June 5, 2018, and WCAG 2.2 is set to be released in June 2022. Regardless of the version, WCAG hinges on four guiding principles: perceivability, operability, understandability, and robustness. These are the threads that underpin each of the WCAG versions.
Relates to users’ ability to perceive all the information on your website, including text, images, videos, and so on. It means that if a user cannot see the text on your website or listen to a video on your website, you should provide an alternative that helps them access the information contained in that text or video.
Is associated with the ease of navigating through your website and using all the features that it has. It implies that any user should be able to access what they need to use to navigate through your website and use the tools that are there, such as calculators.
Infers that the content of your website should be easy to comprehend for all users. This means that a user can be able to grasp the website’s text, videos, images, and other site tools regardless of their disability status.
Relates to users’ ability to receive the same user experience even if they’re using assistive technologies. It means that a user that is reading the content on your website and another who is using a voice reader should get the same content even if the delivery mode is different.
ADA Compliance is therefore personified through adherence to the ADA recommendations as defined through WCAG and the relevant guiding principles.
After you’ve established your website, you should run an ADA Website Compliance Test to ensure that it complies with ADA requirements. ADA Website Testing is critical since your website may discriminate against or exclude people with disabilities without your knowledge, and this could cost you massive amounts of money in lawsuits.
You can perform a Website ADA Compliance Test for your website on your own through self-ADA Website Testing, using ADA Website Testing Tools, or by setting up a manual audit by an accessibility expert.
When you’re done with creating your website, it is advisable to step back and ask yourself whether what you have is perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. To do this effectively, you’ll need to review WCAG to ensure that the website aligns with the guidelines’ requirements, including the technical specifications, the functional requirements, and the security of the deployment.
You should ask yourself whether people with disabilities can complete the core tasks of the applications on the website when using it and whether it produces an experience that is accessible to people with disabilities.
You can also use ADA Website Testing Tools to evaluate how your website conforms to ADA compliance. There are numerous such tools, and it all depends on your site’s needs and your budget, among other things. Most of the website checks provided by these tools deliver only up to 30% ADA Website Test accuracy. We’ll provide you with a free ADA Website Compliance Checker with enhanced levels of accuracy.
While the automated website scans for ADA Compliance help to check the extent of your website’s conformity with the ADA requirements, over-reliance on them can give you a false sense of protection. This is because they run at about 30% accuracy. The sure way to protect your business, therefore, is to have a accessibility professional perform a manual audit of your website. The professional checks each page of your website to ensure that the entire website is accessible to everyone.
Manual audits check for numerous standards and offer the best WCAG compliance outcomes, including reports on color contrast, screen reader friendliness, legibility, alternative text, keyboard accessibility, links, menus, and prompting and labeling appropriateness.