ADA Compliance Regulations Expand to Include Websites
Early 2018, the United States government matched its website accessibility regulations to the universal Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines include: manual dexterity, color perception, vision, screen reading technology, cognition and more. In addition to now being federally mandated, digital accessibility is also important because it helps people with certain conditions equally access and navigate the environment.
Almost every website currently in existence will have at least one item that does not meet the WCAG accessibility guidelines. Comparing your website to the WCAG guidelines on your own to see what needs to be fixing could be extremely time-consuming and tricky. There is a lot more to it than most people think, in fact, there are 76 sections and subsections. In addition, to make many of these changes, one would have to be a coding expert.
But there is any easier way to comply with the regulations: using an ADA Plugin to scan your website can tell you what updates are necessary. The ADA Plugin will scan for everything, including objects, tables, tags, media files and more. It can accomplish this in a mere few hours! To do this without a plug-in, it could take an expert several months. You can also re-scan the website monthly to ensure you are continuing to comply with the regulations.
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires public buildings to have accommodations, such as ramps and parking spaces, but websites can also accommodate those with disabilities. Some companies have also faced large lawsuits for not complying.
Here are a few examples of what your website may need to comply with WCAG:
Visually impaired people may need larger text or better contrast between text and backgrounds.
Labels must be provided when it comes to showing users what actions must be taken on the site to complete what is necessary. This includes labels for text fields, drop-down menus and text fields.
CAPTCHA must have a text alternative, such as an option of an audible CAPTCHA.
If an asterisk, or any other symbol, is used to let the site user know there is something there is important to take notice of, an explanation of that symbol must also appear. For example: “Fields marked with an asterisk must be filled out.”
The keyboard must be able to be used to navigate all parts of the website. Many people who are visually impaired are not able to use a mouse, or see a pointer on their screen.
It is also not permitted to add space where it shouldn’t be – adding space can change the meaning of some words when translated by screen readers. In these cases, use CSS styling.
Ensure that your site’s design allows for site enlargement software. A user should be able to increase the size without it impacting the readability or functionality.
For a complete list of required regulations or for more information, visit https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/. To learn more about the ADA Plugin, visit ADAPlugin.com.