ADA Web Design Compliance
The topic of ADA website compliance is hot amongst all businesses with a website (and in today’s world, that is 99% of them). There’ve been publications about companies getting sued or settling out of court for having a website that doesn’t comply with the American Disabilities Act, and you’re probably wondering if this affects you or your business.
Businesses worldwide in various industries are getting served with lawsuits because their websites don’t meet compliance standards. Let’s first define what ADA website compliance is and help you understand some of the most used terms.
WHAT IS ADA WEBSITE COMPLIANCE?
The American Disabilities Act was outlined in 1990 and expected businesses and other public areas to accommodate those with disabilities. You’re familiar with things like wheelchair ramps and accessible parking spaces; these are things you see every day and have become a norm in today’s public world.
The debate was long as to whether the internet is a “public space,” and now, we absolutely can view it so, as many courts are ruling in favor of the plaintiff in web compliance cases. Therefore, there are criteria that websites must meet for those with disabilities to access and use them properly.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 and 2.1)
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – WCAG – were put in place to help guide website owners and creators to build their websites with compliance in mind. Within those guidelines, new “releases” are often as technology for disabled individuals continues to improve.
WCAG 2.0 is a term you’ve heard before, and it was the latest “adequate” set of guidelines. ADA published WCAG 2.1 in June 2018, but there weren’t many differences between the two updates.
Within WCAG 2.0, there are also “levels” of acceptability for ADA website compliance:
- A = below acceptable
- AA = standard (and where you want to be)
- AAA = exceptional
WCAG 2.0 AA is the standard on which most website owners are operating and is considered acceptable. As a company owner, it’s necessary to know which set of rules you should be meeting, but most of these criteria are very technical. Therefore, we recommend working with a web design agency specializing in ADA website compliance and is familiar with WCAG 2.0.
PS: It’s essential to heed that we don’t recommend ADA website compliance so that you can evade getting sued, but we firmly suggest it so that you can serve the nearly 1 in 5 people in the US that have a disability (and this data is as of 2013, so you can assume that number may have grown).
Web accessibility for all is something we care about deeply, and we recommend that you implement it simply because it is the right thing to do.