What does an ADA compliance checklist for the website mean?
ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance checklist for websites ensures that each individual with any kind of disability or limitation gets an equal right to access any information with healthy and feasible interaction and navigation on the website.
It ensures that the website is accessible for all kinds of people to read and interact with. It includes images, significant texts, keyboard shortcuts, text-to-speech, etc., so that the disabled or people with impairments can easily access the information on any website.
So why is it important for your website to comply with the ADA checklist?
To be ethical and moral, one needs to consider:
- The needs of minorities and people that have some kind of disability.
- The laws’ requirement is sometimes the laws to contain the ADA compliance list for your website.
- It makes your website look attractive; hence you can capture a more significant chunk of users on your website.
- It is important to attain search engine optimization for your website, which the components of the ADA compliance list for the website make it super easy.
Here is a comprehensive ADA compliance checklist for your website:
1 Make sure to put headings and titles on your website
Headings are an essential part of every story, blog, website, or any content so that the page is divided into multiple sections. Division ultimately helps the users to find the data they require, and they do not have to surf the entire content.
Secondly, titles show what the topic is about. Without the title, the complete website is nothing but vague content. There are multiple competitors out there who are selling the same content. If your website is not attractive enough, the attention automatically shifts to them.
Moreover, headings add a proper structure to the website, making it appealing for your audience. It also gives an overview of the content your site provides. For example, you might have added the content which the user requires, but if you have not mentioned that in your heading, they might not find it, which leads them to leave the site and increases your bounce rates.
On the other hand, the usage of simple terminologies is crucial not only for people with disabilities but also for the general public. Users can misinterpret jargon, which can cause confusion among the users. Use language that is easy for every user to understand and avoid jargons that are only relevant to a particular audience.
2 Make use of various text and fonts.
Although color differentiates text and shows prominence, you can use other techniques as well. Bold texts can represent text that is important or contains a special meaning. Underlined or italic texts can show that the link has been added or a particular terminology has been used. The meaning of the terminology needs to be mentioned simultaneously, too, though.
Secondly, bullet points can add an organized look to your lists or pointers of different texts that you have listed on your website. Finally, it makes it easy to analyze how much of a text a website is providing. To conclude, these texts will not make your website look dense and will show the text in a structured manner.
3. Present tables and charts on the website
You can show a lot of information containing a single page with multiple columns. Instead of filling in numerous pages, a table will make it easy to analyze information, and comparisons can be made quickly. Moreover, charts can be made to present statistical data which is easy to interpret. Instead of writing numbers in a paragraph, a chart would make numerical data understandable and comparable.
4. Visual representation needs to have an alternative text explaining them.
As visuals are an essential part of any content that you fill on the website, every person should be able to access it. A visually impaired person would ultimately use the text-to-speech option to learn about the content on the website. If you do not provide alternative text to an image, symbol, logo or a sign, they will not be able to refer to them. The visual might be important to understand in order to get the complete information of a topic. If you do not provide alternative text to the image, the screen reader will not detect it, and the disabled person would not even know if any visual exists.
5. Contrast different colors
The contrast of the text color and the background should be of the ratio 4.5 text and 1 for vision so that it is visible to the user. If the text is not easy to read hence, the user might shift to another website, and you may lose a potential click. You can use colors to convey a message and appeal to the user as well, so you need to make a good choice over here. A person who is color blind may not be able to see the text altogether if the background color and the text color are not very different; make sure not to make that mistake.
6. Navigation should be accessible on the website.
It should be easy for the readers to find all the options on their front page. Search bar, drop-down menu, and indexes help in knowing what content belongs where, and if something is missing, they can always search it up.
Easy-to-navigate pages allow normal or disabled people to find things easily on the website. Not everyone is capable of dealing with the technicalities of a website. A layman just needs everything on the screen so that they may find the appropriate content for themselves.
7. PDFs are NOT a good option.
PDF formats appear as an image that does not allow screen readers to enable the text to read. Ultimately, people with visual impairments cannot read the website at all, limiting your website to reach more audiences.
Additionally, another limitation that PDF has is that it does not allow text enlargement, which can become a problem for users with weak eye-sight or visual impairments. It becomes easy to read as the content is split into forms of different pages. Although PDFs are easy to print, why would anyone print out the website? Long story short, it’s best to keep the formatting simple and not use PDF formats as it will help you tick off the ADA compliance list for the websites.
8. Add text-to-speech or captions to your website
While adding a video to your website, captions are a must for the following reasons:
- People with hearing impairments would require captions on the videos to know what the video is really trying to convey; it will be useless without the captions.
- The captions need to be set into different languages.The web is available internationally Hence, your captions need to also be catered to a variety of audiences and languages.. By doing so, you will automatically capture the larger market.
- A text-to-speech option is vital so that any person with visual impairment can access information through a screen reader.
- You can add a sign language window too so that users with hearing impairments do not feel left out and your website is enhanced!
9. ‘Skip navigation’ is the most attractive part to the users!
Imagine opening a website, and there is a complete, long introduction. And then various charts, and then the actual content with multiple subheadings. But all you need is one sentence from one of those subheadings. Wouldn’t that be tiring and infuriating?
So, when you are designing your website, you need to consider all the factors. Having a ‘skip navigation’ option at the top of your page will make it easy for the users to access any information they require without any hassle. It becomes more accessible, organized, attractive, and hassle-free. Wouldn’t you want that when you are searching for any information? So does everyone else!
It is not easy to get away with laws, and why would you? Being ADA compliant is not just beneficial for people with impairments; it also gives you and your website numerous benefits.
Additionally, working in accordance with the content accessibility guidelines by the government and doing some voluntary work for the community will only enhance your brand’s good name towards the public. Your content will reach 100% of the audience despite any limitations and disabilities.
The more reach and clicks, the better for your website! So, start paying attention to and ticking off the boxes from the ADA compliance checklist for your website now! Still not convinced, get to know the latest marketing trends and you will automatically know the importance!