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What is Web Accessibility and How to Make Your Website ADA Compliant?

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, once said, “The power of the web is in its universality. Access by everyone, regardless of disability, is an essential aspect”.

The web is an important resource for many aspects of life, from conducting business to education, healthcare, recreation and more. It’s a world in itself, and it’s only ever-growing. And so, the web must be accessible to everyone so it provides equal opportunity to everyone – people with disabilities included. When your website and web tools are badly designed, it can create barriers that exclude certain people from using the Web. Whereas, properly designed and coded portals make the web more accessible, thus benefitting individuals as well as businesses and society.

Leveraging the best practices in accessible web design, we at Digitawise will offer our clients a new AI interface for their corporate websites and e-commerce stores, which is Section 508, ADA Title III, WCAG 2.1, and EN 301549 compliant, and can be accessed via screen reader. But first, let’s understand what is Web Accessibility, how it impacts your online reputation and business, and how we can help.

What is Web Accessibility?

Web Accessibility means that your website, related apps, tool and technologies are designed and coded so that people with disabilities can still use them. It’s not just limited to navigation or reception of information; an accessible web page would also mean that people with disabilities will be able to easily contribute to the web too.

It’s important to note that Web Accessibility is not just limited to people with disabilities, it can also be beneficial in other situations like temporary disabilities such as a broken arm or eyesight issues, for the aging population, or situational limitations such as bright sunlight, etc.

About ADA Compliance:

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one of the most popular laws in regards to web accessibility and it prohibits discrimination in terms of disability in places of public accommodation. Website and web properties are increasingly being categorized as such, thus the major increase in lawsuits and demand letters in the last 3 years. Over 15000 demand letters were served to businesses since 2017.

As such, providing web accessibility is now becoming an extremely important objective for a lot of businesses. Their websites fail to meet legal requirements for web accessibility. Moreover, businesses lose opportunities and money every time by ignoring the needs of disabled people.

So, do a quick check to see if your website is ADA compliant using the below guidelines and get in touch with us and we’ll take care of the rest: 

Evaluate your current site using like WAVE or Lighthouse, or by manually testing the site with screen reader software. You can use the ADA guidelines to create a blueprint for your site. Your site will be deemed ADA compliant if it is perceivable, operable and understandable – when choosing graphics for your website, ensure it also has description/caption that can be read aloud to the visually impaired – closed captioning on videos, transcripts, and audio descriptions are necessary too. And avoid graphics that flash too many times as they can induce a seizure in someone. Ensure your site uses Alt-text image captions, as it allows site readers to describe your images audibly. Use easy to read fonts such as Open Sans and Quicksand, and ensure the code on your site uses standard HTML tags.

These are of course just a few basic guidelines, as new technologies become available for people with disabilities ADA changes or adds to its requirements, so it’s always good to keep up to date with all the compliance changes. Or simply invest some time in an agency with WCAG expertise at hand.

Here’s how we can help:

Our web accessibility solution for you will consist of two parts: the foreground apps that takes care of your website’s UI, Design and cognitive related adjustments like fonts, contrasts colors, sizes and virtual keyboard. And the background app controls and AI machine learning which is responsible for the keyboard navigation and screen reader optimization including WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications), alt tags, navigation menus, dropdowns, and pop-ups, as well as forms and buttons.

How this process works:

We’ll install our single line JS code on your website, and the website will immediately display our accessibility interface. Over the next 48 hours, our AI will then scan and analyze your website, making it ADA compliant. Once completed, your website will be WCAG 2.1 compliant, we’ll send you an accessibility statement that will explain all the adjustments your website has gone through. Moreover, the AI we install will re-scan for new and revised content process every 24 hours.

Why wait to get your website up to date with ADA compliance? You won’t just be avoiding legal trouble, you’ll also be reaching out to more people, plus your website will get an SEO boost as the Google algorithm works to give better spots to websites that are easily accessible to everyone. Let us help you make your website’s design as well as interface compliant with the ADA guidelines, get in touch with Digitawise today.

 

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