If you ever get an email stating that you’re being sued because your website isn’t ADA compliant, first thing’s first, do not freak out! The internet is a hotbed for scams (this is one of them), and although this one could be pretty scary if you’re not familiar with the regulations for an ADA compliant website, there are some simple steps you can take to avoid the possibility of an initial freak-out entirely.
So, you may be wondering if your website needs to be compliant at all. As an e-commerce store owner, the short answer is yes! According to the Hackernoon blog, the general consensus is that any business considered a “public accommodation” should have an ADA compliant web presence. That means B2C and retail businesses should definitely aim for their websites to be compliant.
ADA compliant websites should be perceivable by all, operable by all, understandable by all, and in general, ensure website accessibility for people with disabilities. Below we’ll explore steps you can take to make sure your site is compliant.
Ensure that website colors and fonts can be easily viewed
Users with low vision must be able to specify the text and background colors as well as the font sizes needed to see webpage content. When setting website colors and font sizes, use web-safe colors and readable fonts (think Georgia, Open Sans, and Quicksand).
For every image or video on your website, there should be a text equivalent. Add alt-text captions to images so that they can be described to users audibly. If you provide PDF downloads, consider creating a version using a text-based format.
Use Basic HTML Tags
Ensure that your site can be read by an assistive reader by using standard HTML tags in your website code.
Optimize the site for keyboard-only browsing
Ensure that your site is accessible to users who are unable to operate a touchscreen or a grip a mouse by making it easily navigable with just a keyboard. Avoid allowing videos to autoplay and make sure that users can pause videos using the keyboard.
Keep up with technological advances
As new tech is made available to users with disabilities, they should be accounted for on your website. Make sure to remain up-to-date with compliance changes.
We’ll round this guy out with some general tips to make sure your site is ADA compliant, but as always, if you need a little help your web-savvy friends (ahem, 🙋) don’t hesitate to reach out!
General tips to ensure your site is ADA compliant
- Minimize blinking and flashing
- Use heading structures to help users navigate pages
- Design online forms to include descriptive HTML tags