When it comes time to create your website, there is so much to think about: the layout, the content, the images, and more! We consider clients visiting our website from their computers, tablets, and smartphones. We do all of this because it's important to make sure that what you can do for your clients reaches your clients -- all of them.
What about those clients using assistive technology like screen readers, text enlargement software, and programs that enable users to control their computer with their voice?
If your website isn't ADA Compliant, you'll be missing out on reaching your audience. So, how do you get started?
Here are five considerations to make before you launch.
DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind, this is not a comprehensive list and you can always make sure you are following government guidelines by consulting with an attorney or getting an ADA audit to be sure you have checked all your boxes.
Closed captioning on videos
Transcripts of videos and other audio recordings
Text that explains what an image is (referred to as alt-text)
Audio descriptions that describe anything in a video that is not already a part of the video's audio
Consider users with screen readers: arrange your content in a way that makes sense when reading out loud in order.
Do not rely on color or images alone to convey information.
Any audio must be able to be paused, stopped, or muted.
The text must be able to be resized up to 200% without negatively affecting the ability to read content or use functions.
Test to make sure users can access everything on the websites without a mouse or touchscreen (keyboard only)
Users should be able to pause, stop, or hide anything that blinks, scrolls, or moves.
Users should be able to adjust, extend, or turn off any time limits on the website
Do not include any animations or content that flashes more than three times in one second.
Include a "Skip to Content" or "Skip Navigation" link for users with a screen reader (allowing them to skip the navigation options at the top of the screen to get to the good stuff).
Use unique and descriptive page titles
Use clear language for links like "Schedule a Service" instead of "Click Here"
Include multiple ways to access pages like a search bar, navigation menus, sitemaps, etc.
Set the language for your website and indicate any language changes within a page or content.
All navigation actions should require a trigger like hitting enter or clicking an obvious action button (i.e. forms should not auto-submit when fields are filled out, hovering over a link should not move you off the page, etc.)
Be consistent in the navigation layout of each page.
Make errors in form submission easy to identify and correct, use suggestions for correcting the error.
Be clear and descriptive of the content needed to complete a form field.
If you are taking payment or getting signatures for legal use, at least one of the following must be true: 1) submissions are reversible, 2) the user has an opportunity to correct errors, and 3) confirmation is available that allows an opportunity to review and correct before submission.
The ada.gov website has a variety of resources and checklists for small business owners. Chapter 5 Toolkit is meant for state and local government websites, but it is still a great resource for small business owners as well. Check it out: https://www.ada.gov/pcatoolkit/chap5toolkit.htm
Feeling overwhelmed? Just don't want to have to think about it? CIS Agency can help you get started with your website, or help you take your existing site to the next level! Reach out to us today!
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