Last year some big names in business faced, and lost, lawsuits over the ADA accessibility of their websites. While Winn-Dixie paid a pretty penny for their mistake, it helped other business owners realize they needed to take notice and make some changes to their own sites. New laws passed in 2018 about website ADA compliance haven’t really been very straight forward about who needs an ADA accessible site – and what that even truly means.
No worries! Our web developers at Mugsy have been working to create, revamp and fix sites for companies across the country to ensure they are compliant, and they’ve broken down all the info you need to know below, and of course, if you’d like help with your site to ensure it’s ADA certified, we’d be happy to help ([email protected]).
WHAT DOES ADA AND ADA COMPLIANT MEAN?
ADA, short for the Americans with Disabilities Act, prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Most of you have heard of buildings and businesses (particularly those with 15 employees or more) needing to make their locations accessible with ramps, hand bars in the bathroom, and accommodations as such.
However, with the internet being the way that so many of us do business, the digital landscape is now under the same set of laws as off-line components of a business, and any company considered a “public accommodation” needs an ADA compliant web presence.
DOES MY WEBSITE NEED TO CHANGE?
What is a “public accommodation” business? At first this was defined as government organizations, however it has now expanded to cover medical, law, hospitality and property management companies as well. Through 2018 lawsuits have also been reaching into other B2C businesses including retail (like in the case of Winn Dixie), particularly when the site is heavily integrated into the physical presence of the business.
HOW DO I KNOW WHERE TO START?
There are numerous tests you can run online to find out if your site is ADA compliant, and if it is not, how many errors or items on the site need fixing. Some items that all ADA compliant sites require include:
- Navigation accessibility with screen reader technology and keyboard navigation to all pages of the site
- Text with a minimum contrast ratio against the background
- Alt text for photos and video on the site
- Text scaling up to 200% available on the site
- And more!
Here at Mugsy we recommend using WAVE to test your site. It will give you a checklist of all your needs. There are many automated online tools that will help you catch a lot of smaller issues. If you want to ensure you are meeting all requirements or need help with a bigger revamp on your site, there are developers specializing in ADA compliance, including our web team here at Mugsy PR.
If you’d like a consultation on your website’s ADA compliance, please send us an email at [email protected] and our developers will get in touch to help ensure your site is up-to-code and out of danger.