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How Can I Tell if my Website is ADA Compliant

by Naveen Agarwal
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Having a website these days is important to promote brands and products. But it’s not just about registering your portal and putting in information because there are a lot of factors to consider and one of those is about ADA website compliance.

You read it right. The website must be ADA compliant. So what is ADA compliant? It simply means that under the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, it’s a civil right that is against discrimination with those with disabilities. This act has since been revised to include information technology.

Having a website that is non-ADA compliant can get you into trouble and can lead to lawsuits. So how do you know if your website is ADA compliant? Here are some tips to consider.

1) Make use of free tools online. To check if your website follows the ADA requirements, you can use tools such as WAVE and Lighthouse. WAVE, according to its website “can identify many accessibility and Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) errors, but also facilitates human evaluation of web content.”  Lighthouse on the other hand is also another tool that can help in checking the fonts, colors, contrasts, and image alt to see if it is suitable.  You can also check other tools under the World Wide Web Consortium.

2) Use alt tags and texts for photos and videos. Putting alt tags and texts on photos can help those with visual problems as this will help in hearing the description of the photos and videos.  The alt tags and texts must include a brief description of the photo and what it is all about.

3) Make use of transcriptions and captions. To be ADA compliant, it is best to include the captions or transcriptions in the video or photo. This is very essential since some of the materials you may be putting on the website will not be easy for those who have hearing problems or those who are having trouble reading the message.  Having transcription is also a big help when it comes to search engines optimizing your website.

4) Manually audit your website. One of the best ways to check if the website is compliant is to audit it manually with the help of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The WCAG is a checklist that can help to see if all the requirements were followed.

5) Make sure content and font is readable. It is very important that the website can be read from afar by people. Use fonts that are easy to spot and that are not distracting and not fancy. The key is for people to read without a magnifying glass. But using big fonts does not mean you have to emphasize it. Balance is the key.

6) Don’t put too much  interactive elements, flashes, or colors that can be distracting. It’s good to put some attention seeking colors and for effects but tone it down. You don’t want to be the reason to cause someone an epilepsy problem or seizure.

7) Make sure that the website is easy to navigate. Always bear in mind that your website has to be user friendly. It’s not just about the fonts and designs that must be considered but also if it’s easy to navigate to the pages your readers want to go to. Is the navigation bar easy to find? These are just some points to consider.

8) Consult with a professional for assessment. If you are unsure whether your website is ADA compliant, then go to a professional to assess it. There are many companies out there who can help. 

With these tips, you’ll be on your way to an ADA compliant website. After all, it’s better to follow the law than get into more trouble. 

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