Know Something About ADA Web Compliance

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What is ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act was developed in 1990 and its primary motto is to ensure accessibility for all including the physically disabled. According to this, Businesses and Industries must ensure that their physical office spaces and commercial buildings are built with features to accommodate people with various forms of disability. Now, with an unprecedented penetration of the internet, the compliance listed in this act was updated in 2010 covering websites and mobile applications. This means that the websites and mobile applications must be built in such a way that it can be accessed by people with hearing, vision or other disabilities. Complying with web accessibility guidelines in the ADA regulations will not only enhance the legal aspects of the business but also add new customers.

Who does this apply to?

Businesses covered by ADA include

  • Private businesses with 15 or more employees
  • Public entities at state and local levels
  • Businesses that are operating for the benefit of people as well as Non-profit organizations.

For businesses to make sure that their website meets the ADA compliance, they must adhere to the 12 guidelines under 4 principles [Perceivability, Operability, Understandability & Robustness], penned down by the World Wide Web Consortium(W3C).

Perceivability-

This principle lays guidelines for website design and development so that the content can be consumed by all users.

  • Provide Captions for Videos and other multimedia content
  • Create content such that it can be presented in different formats.
  • User should be able to visualize as well as hear the content.
  • Ensure that graphics have enough color contrast to be easily perceived.

Operability-

Operability guidelines ensure that everyone, irrespective of their disability can easily navigate the website and mobile application.

  • Provide enough time for the user to read the content
  • Ensure that the entire portal can be navigated with a keyboard
  • If you have elements that are blinking or automatically updating, make sure that this can be paused in case if the user needs more time.
  • Do not feature flashing elements which could induce seizures in users.

Understandability-

The guidelines laid down under this principle applies to ensure that the content and operation of the portal and mobile application is understandable.

  • Ensure readability and understandability of the text in the website
  • Use a standard language which can be identified programmatically.
  • Ensure that the website can be navigated consistently
  • Make the content such that it can be operated in predictable ways.
  • If the site has user input sections, ensure that the instruction is clear and concise. The user should know what exactly is expected out of them.
  • Help users identify the errors in their entry and instructions to correct them.

Robustness-

This principle has guidelines to ensure that the code can be easily interpreted by a variety of assistive technologies and other agents that support people with disabilities.

  • The content and navigation structure should be interpretable to the screen readers, which is used by people with visual impairments.
  • Website and application should be compatible with present and future tools of the user
  • Use a clean code without duplicate information.

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