American Disabilities Act, ADA Compliant Website
Many business owners and organizations hear about Ada compliance for the first time when they receive a letter from an attorney. The letter threatens legal action if they do not settle for a certain monetary amount because they do not have an ADA compliant website.
We have multiple clients that have recently received these letters. If you are in this situation we can refer you to experienced legal advisors, more importantly, we can fix your website to become ADA compliant.
Domino’s Pizza got sued for their website not being ADA compliant
Since the institution of the American Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, there has been a legal obligation for U.S. companies and organizations to provide persons with disabilities “reasonable accommodations” in the operational functionality of their businesses. When the measure passed in 1990, internet businesses were in their infancy. Years later, what ADA compliance means for websites remains complicated and unclear.
Domino’s Pizza delivered a case about their website ADA compliance to the US Supreme Court this summer and the justices rejected it on Oct. 7, the first day of the 2019 term. A blind man was not able to order a pizza via the company’s website or app. This means that having an ADA compliant website has to be taken seriously by all companies and organizations, even here in New Mexico.
ADA Compliant Website Follows Good Business Practices
Company and organization owners realize it is good business to make sure as many people as possible can functionally use their website. Developing ways for disabled users to effectively navigate websites increases potential users and follows the intent of the rules governing the ADA.
No specific regulatory guidance determines ADA compliance for websites. Web designers and administrators are left to rely on case law and common legal sense to create the most effective methods of compliance.
Methods to Ensure ADA Compliance for Websites
Some common ways businesses and organizations can ensure ADA compliance for their websites include:
- Multimedia Alt Tags: Alt tags are short sentences that describe the picture or video for people using “screen readers” to visit the website. The addition of alt tags for images, videos, and audio files also allows for disabled users to understand the content they may not otherwise be able to view or hear. Adding good Alt Tags is the best SEO practice, because it’s another way to signal search engines what this specific page is about.
- Video and Audio Transcripts: Rapid advancements in technology have made it easier to make transcripts of online video and audio files available for the hearing impaired. News organizations are now required to post news-related video content with the option of closed caption transcription.
- ID Website’s Language: Identifying the language of the website within the header code will allow users to use text readers properly.
- Navigation Assistance: Automatic navigation alternatives and suggestions will help disabled users to find the content they are seeking.
- Organization and Constituency: Keeping a website’s layout and navigation consistent and organized will help all users navigate the site, but disabled users specifically rely on a certain constituency from page to page.
Taking steps to ensure your business is in ADA compliance for websites will allow users with disabilities to more easily navigate your site. Small updates and upgrades can make a big difference in making the navigation of your company website more user-friendly for everyone, including those living with vision or hearing impairments.
We, as your local web design company here in Albuquerque, New Mexico know how to build an ADA compliant website.