As of 2020 your service industry website must be ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) Compliant. This means that it has to meet section 508 regulatory terms in order to meet the needs of those who may not be able to see or hear fully.
These standards were updated in 2018 and known as the World Wide Web Consortium or W3C. These standards unify and implement WCAG version 2.1. These come on the heels of the Americans with Disabilities act which was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by the late President George H.W. Bush.
What ADA compliant websites look like
To a visual reader you will see a small icon on the top right of the screen. It looks like a little stick figure in a wheel chair much like the handicap parking sign, only it has a laptop in his or her hands.
Clicking on that activates the choices for ADA compliance giving you choices not normally there such as read page, keyboard navigation, contrast, spacing, stop animations, font choice, and highlight links. It can help tremendously with site and hearing issues for your clients and is nothing but beneficial.
What that means for your online presence or online business
Your ecommerce website falls under Title III of the act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability and making all public places accommodating. This includes websites.
How to make your website ADA compliant and accessible
It is ultimately in the best interest of your business to push for ADA compliance..
You must stay up to date on ADA and Section 508 requirements as businesses will be held accountable legally.
The WCAG 2.1 includes the following technical standards
- Screen and device orientation
- Identifying input fields
- Non-text content contrast
- Adequate on-page text spacing
- Content display and accessibility on hover and focus events
- Rules on interaction-based animations
- Pointer input targets pixel size range specifications
Common WCAG 2.1 technical issues include
- Blank or invalid image alt tags
- Links that share the same name but direct to different places (example “Read More” links on a given page)
- Links that are not descriptive enough for a user or screen reader to know where they will take them to (e.g., “Click here”)
- Tables without headers and descriptors for each column
- Missing “presentation” labels on tables that are used to lay out content
- Blank headers
- Use of <b> and <u> in content rather than using cascading style sheets (CSS)
While one or two issues won’t make your site inaccessible or susceptible to a lawsuit they add up and can become a problem.
The best solution to avoiding a potential non access issue-based lawsuit is to make sure you are ADA compliant. Damonaz Design can help! We are the online ADA experts! We can transform your old website with ease and without any disruption to your online customer experience.
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