What is ADA Compliance for your website?
Online accessibility is a topic that many organizations are eager to tackle, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in the details of it all. Making your website ADA Compliant means that it passes a number of tests for accessibility, and allows differently-abled users to access your content with ease. The criteria for these tests are called Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and they cover a number of technical details like:
- Color contrast for images, fonts, and backgrounds, which allows users with vision impairment to more easily digest your content.
- Heading format, which allows accessibility readers to parse what’s important on a page
- Alternative or “alt” text for images and links, so that vision-impaired users understand the images on the site as it relates to your content.
- Movement ease-of-action for improved accessibility
There are three levels of compliance available for website accessibility as defined by WCAG: A, AA and AAA. The specific requirements for your website differ by the level of compliance selected. Generally, AA is recommended and it is the level to which we build and test our websites before launch.
Why do I need it?
For the past several years, many organizations have proactively sought to make their websites accessible according to WCAG AA guidelines. More recently, however, organizations have been issued guidance by trade associations that recent court rulings seem to favor an interpretation that those organizations might now be required to have ADA Compliant websites.
Generally speaking, if you’re required to make accessibility concessions at your physical location, additional concessions should be considered when developing your online presence. While we can’t say for sure what might be required for your organization or what legal changes will be coming in the future, we can confidently say that we’re here to help take care of you.
But wait… One more thing.
There is one major caveat to the ADA Compliance discussion online, and that is this… Any time your website changes, it has the potential to be non-compliant. Your website is a living thing! Anytime content or new pages are added, images are changed, etc., there is potential for your website to fall out of compliance.
Don’t worry, though. We’ve got your back here, too!
Our solution for making your website ADA Compliant (WCAG AA standards) is a two-step method:
- One-time audit and update - To begin, we will assess your current website using industry-standard audits. These audits will display any and all areas where your website is currently outside of compliance for a selected WCAG level (again, AA is recommended). We will act systematically on the results of the audit to ensure your website is brought up to the appropriate level of compliance. Once finished, we will re-audit the website to ensure all areas have been addressed.
- Ongoing maintenance - Once updated, many clients opt to engage us on a quarterly audit cycle. This cycle is in place for us to re-audit the website on a regular basis in order to discover any areas that have fallen out of compliance via updates from your staff or outside parties. We will again make any updates necessary and re-audit to ensure continued compliance.
Great! What does it cost?
As you can imagine, costs can vary widely based on the complexity of your website, specifically related to how much content you have. There is also a chance that your website is old enough that compliance is not achievable without a complete redesign and rebuild. In those rare cases, we’ll be happy to assess your website and provide an estimate for the work before we begin.