The benefits of making your sites accessible are extremely broad. From a humanistic perspective, it ensures that we do not lock out disabled users. Your site will immediately expand its potential audiences giving you an edge over your competitors.
For healthcare companies, making your website accessible complying to the ADA regulations removes the risk of your business being slapped by hefty lawsuits. Sadly, companies find out about this the hard way.
According to Digital Authority Partners, major companies like NBA, Reebok, Patagonia, and Ace Hardware just to mention all have a history of being sued on the account that their websites were not ADA compliant. The fines of having not having an ADA compliant website reaches up to $75,000 for first offenders. The fines are also on a rise as there are almost one thousand ADA website compliance lawsuits each month.
Making your website ADA compliant not only increases your brand reach but also your website design and usage improve making it future proof and flexible. But how do you check if your website is ADA compliant:
Your site must at least have these few features to be an ADA compliant site.
1. Make your website Keyboard-Friendly
For a business website to be accessible it should, for starters, be working without the use of a mouse. This makes your website’s major features be accessible and possible to navigate with the use of only a keyboard. This includes accessing links, content, and pages.
The easiest way to achieve this is navigating using the keyboard’s Tab key.
2. Easily Accessible Content
After making your website keyboard-friendly you now need to make all the content on the page is actually accessible. This becomes an issue when the selected page has dynamic content. The problem arises when the page site doesn’t offer any assistive tools.
In order to counter this, you need to ensure that the reader is informed when something on the site changes otherwise they will miss any new content. Landmarks can also be used to clearly define any tags on the page.
3. Alt Text to All Images
If you are using something like WordPress you can add this feature to your images where you get to enter the alternative text for the images. This gives you the unique opportunity to describe the image giving context to those users who would have missed it.
4. Pick Your Colors Carefully
Different people perceive colors in unique ways. This taken into consideration, you need to make sure all the colors on your site contrast will and that everyone can be able to tell the difference of the different elements on the page.
The main issue is to ensure that all your texts stand out against its background.
5. Accessible Form Design
These are always welcome additions to most sites but they have to be designed carefully to make sure that each field is clearly labeled. A sighted user can easily match labels to their corresponding options but this might not be as obvious to those who may have sight problems and need to use a screen reader. The objective for this should be to offer instructions and information in a well-defined manner that users can easily understand without strain.
However, there are several community-driven projects that offer resources and guidance to assist you to make your website ADA compliant and reduce your risk of getting sued. There is no need for anyone to be excluded especially when it is relatively simple to correct flaws to avoid it. This will not only earn you thankful users but it will also increase your website traffic and conversations.