Your website must meet very specific accessibility requirements as designated by the ADA. If these requirements have not been brought to your attention previously, I promise they will and it will likely come in the form of a class action lawsuit.
In fact, California’s new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has a provision for web accessibility and making any privacy policies accessible starting July 1, 2020.
— JD Supra
So, what is ADA website compliance?
Anyone and everyone, no matter their challenges, must be able to read or listen to the content on your website without issue.
How do you know if your website isn’t ADA compliant?
Well, if you’re like me, you found out because you received not one, but 10 formal complaints from law firms across the country regarding your company’s website (former company, a number of years ago, in this case). But, if you haven’t received that letter yet, there are a few things you can do.
- Start by reading this article from Search Engine Journal about the laws surrounding ADA website compliance.
- Run your website through an accessibility checker. There are a number of them around, but here are two you can use right now: WebAIM and Tenon.io.
- Use the reports from these website accessibility checkers as a starting point to update your website.
What are some general website accessibility guidelines?
- Every page must have a title and the primary headline at the top of the page should be an H1.
- Text must be a readable size. Standard paragraph text should be 14–16px.
- When text is on a colored background there must be high contrast so that it’s easy to read.
- All images must have alt text. This includes images on Twitter, LinkedIn, and others as well.
- Avoid using images as text.
- Avoid using text baked into images. All text should be live text.
- If you have video you must provide a method to easily pause, stop, or hide content.
- Videos must have closed captioning.
- Podcasts must provide a transcript.
This is as high level overview of website accessibility. Take this article as a starting point, not a complete guide. And please take website ADA compliance seriously. Otherwise, you could end up like me with a very unhappy corporate lawyer in your office.
If you have any questions about website accessibility and what guidelines your website must follow, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m here to help.