A great website design is meant to not only be beautiful, but funtional as well. But what happens if a few million people can’t actually enjoy or access your website? It happens everyday and that’s why it’s important to make your website ADA compliant. There are millions of people living with a disability and some just aren’t able to read or view your website. Now, ADA is something that I am just starting to get more acquinted with, so I’m not a total expert (yet) but I do think it’s important to learn + implement. As I do, I’ll be sure to keep you updated! Officially, there aren’t any ‘real’ ADA guidelines you have to adhere by, but there are laws in place that say you must comply if your business offers “public accommodations“. Ultimately, this is best for everyone to start implementing so everyone can have access! So here are 4 ways to make your website ADA compliant.
Now, before we go any further, a quick disclaimer, I am not an attorney, so anything related to laws + legal stuff, go consult your personal attorney!
1. Alt tags on images
People who are visually impaired will often times use a screen reader to be able to navigate what is on your website and hear the content. However, screen readers don’t work on images unless you add descriptive information to the alt tag. An alt tag “Alt tags allow users with disabilities to read or hear alternative descriptions of content they might not otherwise be able to view. Alt tags describe the object itself and, generally, the purpose it serves on the site” (source).
2. text captions for videos + audio
Adding text captions below (or wherever) on your videos or audio files will allow those who are hearing impared to be able to read the text and understand the content that isn’t easily accessible for them otherwise.
3. add text based format files
Rather than simply adding a regular PDF file, you need to provide a secondary option in a text based file, like HTML or RTF. That way, screen readers can work and your files become more accessible.
4. provide a way for visitors to request accessibility
“Provide a way for visitors to request accessible information or services by posting a telephone number or email address on your home page” (source). That way, if needed, visitors can reach out to request additional accessibility support.
Here are just 4 ways to make your website ADA compliant and accessibility friendly. Accessibility is a topic I’m still learning and diving into more and more, but it’s important to shifting to a more inclusive web experience. As I continue to learn, I’ll continue to share here, but these updates are fairly easy to start integrating, so let’s get started together!
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