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ADA Accessibility and Web Design

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires both for-profit and nonprofit organizations to make accessibility accommodations that enable the disabled to access the same services that non-disabled individuals can. This includes web sites and electronic media.

Broaden Your Potential Customer Base

Although the ADA applies to businesses with 15 or more employees, small businesses can reap benefits by ensuring that their websites are ADA compliant. You will broaden your potential customer base and limit liability for non-compliance should your company grow to over 15 employees. Web developers should automatically include ADA compliance features in an original design and application plans.

Government Agency and Contractor Sites

This is critical when completing work for a government contractor or government agency. These organizations are mandated to follow web accessibility guidelines according to Section 508 of the Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 508 is different than ADA compliance, although the Department of Health and Human Services publishes a checklist for ensuring website accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Following this checklist is an excellent starting point for checking your website for ADA accessibility.

This is the published checklist by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Every image, video file, audio file, plug-in, etc. has an alt tag
  • Complex graphics are accompanied by detailed text descriptions
  • The alt descriptions describe the purpose of the objects
  • If an image is also used as a link, make sure the alt tag describes the graphic and the link destination
  • Decorative graphics with no other function have empty alt descriptions (alt= “”)
  • Add captions to videos
  • Add audio descriptions
  • Create text transcript
  • Create a link to the video rather than embedding it into web pages
  • Add a link to the media player download
  • Add an additional link to the text transcript
  • The page should provide alternative links to the Image Map
  • The <area> tags must contain an alt attribute
  • Data tables have the column and row headers appropriately identified (using the <th> tag)
  • Tables used strictly for layout purposes do NOT have header rows or columns
  • Table cells are associated with the appropriate headers (e.g. with the id, headers, scope and/or axis HTML attributes)
  • Make sure the page does not contain repeatedly flashing images
  • Check to make sure the page does not contain a strobe effect
  • A link is provided to a disability-accessible page where the plug-in can be downloaded
  • All Java applets, scripts and plug-ins (including Acrobat PDF files and PowerPoint files, etc.) and the content within them are accessible to assistive technologies, or else an alternative means of accessing equivalent content is provided
  • When form controls are text input fields use the LABEL element
  • When text is not available use the title attribute
  • Include any special instructions within field labels
  • Make sure that form fields are in a logical tab order
  • Include a ‘Skip Navigation’ button to help those using text readers

If your website meets all of these points, it is likely accessible to individuals with disabilities. You can always obtain feedback on your site’s ease of use from individuals who are deaf, blind, or have mobility issues. You can use the feedback to address site improvements.

NOYO Web Development has the expertise to ensure that any website of any size meets ADA compliance requirements. If you want to open up your website to a broader customer base, contact us today to discuss upgrading your existing website or building a new, innovative site to beat your competition.

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Since being founded in 2009 our longevity in the web design industry and repeat business is positive proof of our commitment to delivering outstanding results over the years. We’re a dynamic team of problem solvers and critical thinkers who enjoy a challenge which you will quickly sense when speaking with any member of our team.

NOYO Web Development Inc. helps your business grow by providing exactly what you need, within budget, on time.