What Does It Mean To Have An ADA Compliant Website?

Posted on: 12 October 2021

You may understand ADA compliance when it comes to making things physically accessible for those with disabilities. However, ADA compliance extends into the digital realm as well. You can help others and your brand by making sure your website is an ADA-compliant one. Here's what that means.

Does the ADA Require Compliance for Websites?

The ADA does have requirements for government websites. However, when it comes to other types of websites, things aren't so clear. Generally, if someone can prove your website serves as a place of public accommodation, then they can sue you or your business for not having proper measures in place to accommodate people with disabilities.

From a legal standpoint, it's best to not take any chances. From a marketing standpoint, it makes a lot of sense to have your website accessible to everyone who wants or needs to use it.

What Makes a Website ADA Compliant?

The ADA doesn't have specific criteria for making a website compliant. Instead, the DOJ and other government entities typically use the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA standard as a baseline for web accessibility. The W3C also makes use of these standards to outline web accessibility. The standards give four main principles that govern what makes a website accessible:

  • Perceivability – Can users easily hear and see the content?
  • Operability – Can users easily navigate the user interface?
  • Understandability – Can users easily understand what they're seeing?
  • Robustness – Can assistive technologies interpret the content?

Each of these principles comes with a host of guidelines to make sure a website fulfills them. When a website can do that, it's considered ADA compliant.

Is There a Way To Make a Website ADA Compliant?

It's possible to make your website ADA compliant by following any of the compliance checklists that are out there. The process isn't always easy and can take some time and effort. You can also find software and other tools designed to change aspects of a site's design to bring it into or close to compliance.

Bringing a website into compliance requires some technical know-how, a lot of testing, and an understanding of how modern websites work. In addition, you'll likely want to avoid as much downtime as possible when making the transition from your old site design to the new one. Speak with a professional service that specializes in creating or updating ADA compliance solutions for websites to avoid any issues.