Originally signed into law in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance for Websites has helped disabled internet users access important websites. On March 18, 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published a guide to help websites better implement ADA protocol.
As ADA protocols expand, more websites are adopting accessibility best practices. While accessibility is a requirement for some websites, others get to use their own discretion. Here’s what you need to know about ADA website compliance guidelines in 2022, whether you’re required to comply, and how to make your website accessible.
Why ADA Compliance is Important
In 2010, an estimated 25.7 million people in America had some form of disability, which represents 11.5% of our nation’s population, according to the ADA. By keeping your website up to date with ADA regulations, you create welcoming and accessible sites for those users.
Also, ADA website compliance regulations provide legal protection against discrimination based on disability. According to section 508, certain businesses must comply with these regulations. Otherwise, they may face legal trouble.
If you operate a business that falls under section 508, you must pay careful attention to ADA guidelines and change your websites accordingly. Federal sites and agencies that receive federal funding fall under section 508. Some examples of these include:
- Federally funded non-profit organizations
- Public schools
- Public universities
But, even if your website does not fall under section 508, you should still consider updating your accessibility. Creating a site that caters to everyone regardless of disability may help retain site rankings in the future.
There is already overlap between the Google search algorithm and accessibility best practices. It’s very likely Google will continue to update its search to accommodate the best possible user experience for all.
Legal Precedent for ADA Website Compliance
While your website may not fall under section 508 regulations now, there is legal precedent to believe even private businesses may come under ADA scrutiny. One case that set this precedent is Robies versus Domino’s Pizza LLC. In October 2019, a court ruled that the Domino’s Pizza website needed to be aligned with ADA regulations.
In 2022, even similar cases reveal courts to favor ADA compliance for websites that don’t fall under the provisions of section 508. The DOJ already updated its web guidance to include businesses open to the public like hotels, banks, and theaters.
Useful Resources on ADA Website Requirements
ADA legal jargon may be difficult to discern for many people. Even after you update your website, it may feel hard to know for sure that you met all the requirements. But, there are resources that can help protect you.
For example, ADA website compliance checkers allow you to check your ADA compliance website levels. These can be found in a number of places and are easy to use.
You can also hire a professional to audit your website and make the recommended changes for you. The cost varies depending on the depth of services you seek. But, with many providers to choose from, you will be able to find a provider that suits your exact needs.
Frasca Digital offers ADA website compliance services at competitive prices. This includes an ADA expert performing regular audits of your site and providing you with feedback on what needs improvement to meet ADA standards. You can learn
ADA Website Compliance Checklist
Updating your website for ADA compliance doesn’t have to be a chore. Follow this simple checklist to help ensure your website is accessible according to ADA guidelines.
1. Review WCAG
WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It is an international standard for website accessibility. Soon to be updated, the WCAG walks you through everything you need to know to make your website compliant.
As you review the WCAG, note the gaps in accessibility your site has. Generate ideas on how you can fill these gaps. For example, you might need to add text alternatives to any images or videos on your website.
The WCAG website offers a guide on how to meet WCAG. Use this customizable reference to help identify your website’s needs.
2. Review Section 508 Standards
You should also review section 508 if your website falls under it. Like the WCAG, read through section 508 carefully and find any accessibility gaps. Take detailed notes and brainstorm ideas for later.
3. Use a Compliance Checker
A compliance checker can help identify anything you’ve missed. There are many compliance checkers you can find online. Some of our favorites include:
- IBM Accessibility Toolkit
After you input your web page address, these sites identify major ADA compliance errors. Cross-check those errors with what you found to complete your list of necessary changes.
4. Implement Changes
Now it’s time to update your website. Use your list of gaps and ideas to implement the necessary changes. As you update, you can continue to use an ADA compliance website checker to make sure your changes are working!
5. Ask For Help
If you’re still struggling to make your website accessible, it’s okay to ask for help. Sometimes you just need an extra set of eyes- Someone who knows all the ADA website compliance guidelines by heart.
At Frasca Digital, our design team can help you meet all the ADA requirements. Get started today by checking out our website design services.
Call Frasca Digital for ADA Website Compliance
ADA website compliance guidelines are always changing. Stay ahead of the changes by making your website ADA compliant today.
The design team at Frasca Digital has years of experience with ADA compliance for websites. No matter your level of familiarity with ADA regulations, we can help ensure your site meets current ADA standards. Moreover, we can help you change with future updates as well.
Get started with website accessibility. Contact the experts at Frasca Digital today!