Does Your Business Meet ADA Compliance Standards?
Accessibility is not only about physical spaces, such as ramps and elevators. It also applies to the digital world, where websites and web content should be accessible to all users.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 1 billion people live with a disability. Furthermore, 20% of these individuals face significant challenges in their daily lives. By making your website ADA-compliant, you are not only following the law, but also expanding your market reach and enhancing UX.
In this blog post, we will explain what ADA compliance means for your website design. We’ll discuss how it impacts different types of disabilities and how our team at BNP Engage can help you create a professional, accessible website for your business.
What is ADA Compliance and How Does It Affect Your Website?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including employment, education, transportation, and communication.
The ADA also requires certain businesses to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities, such as providing wheelchair access, sign language interpreters, or braille materials.
The ADA also applies to websites and web content, which should be accessible to all users, including those who use assistive technologies, such as screen readers, voice commands, or keyboard navigation.
The ADA does not provide specific guidelines or standards for web accessibility, but it refers to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as the best practice for online accessibility.
What are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)?
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are the internationally recognized standards for web accessibility, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
The WCAG provides a set of principles, guidelines, and success criteria for making web content accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. The WCAG are based on four main principles:
- Perceivable: Website information and other web elements must be presented to users in ways they can perceive, such as through text, images, audio, or video.
- Operable: Users must be able to operate and navigate the website using various input methods, such as mouse, keyboard, touch, or voice.
- Understandable: Users must be able to read and understand the website content, as well as the interface and functionality of the website.
- Robust: Content must be compatible with current and future technologies, such as browsers, devices, and assistive tools.
The WCAG also has three levels of conformance to indicate how well your website meets accessibility requirements:
- Level A: The lowest level of accessibility, which addresses the most basic and essential aspects of web accessibility. Websites that do not meet Level A are very difficult or impossible for people with disabilities to use.
- Level AA: The mid-range level of accessibility, which addresses the most common and important aspects of web accessibility. Websites that meet Level AA are usable and understandable for most people with or without disabilities. Level AA is the recommended level of accessibility for most websites, and it is also the level required by the ADA and other regulations.
- Level AAA: The highest level of accessibility, which addresses the most advanced and comprehensive aspects of web accessibility. Websites that meet Level AAA are accessible and enjoyable for all users, regardless of their abilities or preferences. Level AAA is not required by any regulation, but it is a good practice for websites that want to achieve excellence in accessibility.
How Does Web Accessibility Impact Different Types of Disabilities?
Web accessibility is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Different types of disabilities may encounter different types of barriers when using the web. Each may require different types of accommodations or adaptations.
Here are some examples of how web accessibility affects different types of disabilities and ways to improve their experience:
- Visual disabilities: Users who are blind or have low vision may rely on screen readers, braille displays, or magnifiers to access web content. Web accessibility for visual disabilities involves providing alternative text for images, captions for videos, and transcripts for audio. Sufficient color contrast, font size, and readability for text are also essential.
- Hearing disabilities: Users who are deaf or hard of hearing may depend on captions, transcripts, or sign language interpreters to access your site. Web accessibility for hearing disabilities involves providing text-based alternatives for audio and video content, as well as clear and simple language for text content.
- Motor disabilities: Users who have limited or no use of their hands, arms, or legs may use a keyboard, their voice, or eye control to navigate the web. Web accessibility for motor disabilities involves providing keyboard navigation, skip links, and focus indicators for the website. Avoid time limits, pop-ups, or other elements that may interfere with the user’s control.
- Cognitive disabilities: Users who have learning difficulties, memory problems, attention disorders, or other mental impairments may struggle with reading, understanding, or remembering web content. Web accessibility for cognitive disabilities involves providing an intuitive layout, navigation, and functionality for the website, as well as avoiding distractions, errors, or complex language.
How Can BNP Engage Help You Create an ADA-Compliant Website?
At BNP Engage, we are experts in creating professional and accessible websites for B2B businesses. We understand the importance and benefits of ADA compliance for your website design, and we’re equipped with the skills and tools to help you achieve it.
We can help you with:
- Web design: We can design your website from scratch or redesign your existing website to make it more accessible, attractive, and user-friendly. Our team follows WCAG standards and best practices to ensure that your website meets the Level AA requirements (and beyond).
- Web development: Using the latest technologies, we’ll make your site compatible, responsive, and fast. We use clean and semantic code to ensure that your website works well with different browsers, devices, and assistive tools.
- Web content: We can create, edit, or optimize your web content to make it more engaging, informative, and relevant. We employ SEO techniques and keywords to improve your web visibility and ranking. Our accessibility techniques and tools make your content accessible to all users.
- Web testing: We can test your website for accessibility, usability, and performance using various methods and tools, such as manual testing, automated testing, user testing, and accessibility audits. We’ll identify and fix any issues or errors that may affect your website quality and accessibility.
If you are interested in our web design and development services, contact us today! We would love to help you create a website that is ADA-compliant, SEO-friendly, and user-oriented. BNP Engage is your trusted partner for accessible website design.