February 13, 2023


Categories: Website, ADA Compliance, SEO

Why ADA Compliance Should be a Priority for Your Website

Take just a moment and imagine being blind. On top of the very real challenges you would face navigating where you need to go, shopping, preparing food, bathing, getting dressed and so many other things those of us with site take for granted, you wouldn’t see to read these words. You also couldn’t see the navigation menu, photos, content sections, or any of the other myriad visual cues of how to interact with a website that we never really think about. As the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s more important than ever to ensure that everyone has equal access to information and services online. One way to achieve this is through ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance, which ensures that websites are accessible to people with disabilities.

Why is ADA compliance important?

  1. Legal compliance: ADA compliance is a legal requirement. Under Title III of the ADA, businesses that provide goods and services to the public are required to provide equal access to individuals with disabilities. Failure to do so can result in costly lawsuits, damage to reputation, and loss of business.
  2. Moral obligation: Creating accessible websites is also a moral obligation. Access to information and services is a fundamental human right, and people with disabilities should not be excluded from the digital world.
  3. Improved user experience: By making your website accessible to people with disabilities, you’re also improving the user experience for everyone. For example, captions on videos make them more accessible to people with hearing impairments, but they can also benefit people who are watching videos in noisy environments.
  4. Expanded audience: By making your website accessible to people with disabilities, you’re also opening up your audience to a wider range of people. In the United States alone, there are approximately 61 million adults with disabilities, representing a significant potential market.

How to achieve ADA compliance:

  1. Use accessible design: The design of your website should be accessible to all users, regardless of their abilities. This includes using high-contrast colors, providing clear and concise content, and ensuring that the site is easy to navigate.
  2. Use appropriate markup: Using appropriate markup, such as HTML5 and ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications), can help ensure that assistive technologies, such as screen readers, can properly interpret and convey the information on your website.
  3. Provide alternative text: Alternative text (alt text) provides a text description of images on your website. This is important for people who are visually impaired and use screen readers to access content.
  4. Use descriptive links: Using descriptive links helps people with disabilities understand the purpose of the link without having to click on it. This is especially important for people who use screen readers.
  5. Provide closed captions: Videos on your website should be accompanied by closed captions, which provide a text description of the audio content. This is important for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  6. Ensure keyboard accessibility: People with disabilities may not be able to use a mouse or trackpad, so it’s important to ensure that your website can be navigated using only a keyboard.
  7. Test for accessibility: Regularly test your website for accessibility using tools like the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE), the Axe Accessibility testing tool, or the Siteimprove Accessibility Checker (what we use at Pendari). These tools can help identify accessibility issues on your website, which can then be addressed.

ADA Compliance Also Gives an SEO Boost

Even if nothing above has convinced, then do it for selfish reasons… Following ADA guidelines can also have a positive impact on your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts. This is because many of the practices that improve website accessibility, such as using appropriate markup and providing descriptive links, can also improve the structure and organization of your website. This can help search engines better understand and index your content, leading to improved search rankings. Additionally, by making your website accessible to a wider range of users, you’re also increasing the potential audience for your content, which can lead to more traffic and engagement. Ultimately, prioritizing ADA compliance can not only improve the user experience for people with disabilities, but it can also benefit your website’s overall performance and visibility online.

In conclusion, ADA compliance is an essential aspect of website design, and it’s important for businesses to ensure that their websites are accessible to all users. By following best practices for accessible design and testing your website regularly, you can ensure that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can access the information and services they need. Not only is ADA compliance a legal requirement, but it’s also a moral obligation and a way to improve the user experience for everyone. By prioritizing accessibility, businesses can expand their audience and make the digital world a more inclusive place.