On July 26th, 2018, Rebecca Hamlette (Web Developer / Designer) gave a free seminar to discuss the importance of ADA compliance for websites.
Websites Must Comply or Risk Penalties
Any business available to the public must accommodate the public. This is the prevailing legal argument provided in ADA Compliance legal suits targeting businesses with an online presence. If your business is online, you must be compliant or risk penalties.
- First Offense: $75,000
- Subsequent Penalties: $150,000
Last year 7,663 ADA Title 3 lawsuits were filed, a staggering 16% more than the year prior.
Reach a Larger Audience
Millions of users struggle with visual, auditory, mobility, and cognitive disabilities that prevent them from interacting with websites like other users would.
With an estimated 20% of the population having one form of disability, compliance extends the potential reach your business can have.
How to Accommodate
Auditory – Visual – Mobility – Cognitive
Audio – how a website is read to users using screen readers
Visual – how a website looks for users with visual impairments
Account for colorblindness
Don’t just count on color variation, use patterns to help differentiate graphics.
Mobility – how a website responds to established keyboard shortcuts
Hot keys, or shortcut keys, are used daily by people with disabilities to access everything they need on their computer. This allows users to quickly access key elements on a page and get to the desired information without having to manually sift through the entire page.
Cognitive – how a website is laid out and organized
Cognitive impairment is not a diagnosis, but rather a syndrome experienced as a side effect to other issues. Those can include brain injuries, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, strokes, MS, depression, alcoholism, and many more issues.
Keeping the content of a website simple, clean, and clear can prevent users from having issues navigating and utilizing the content of your website.
- Navigation – Make sure web pages are easy to navigate, ideally taking less than 4 clicks to access
- Headers – Make sure web pages have visible and relevant headers
- Readability – Optimal line length is 45-70 characters per line, including spaces
- Image to Text Radio – Keeping at least 1 image per 100 words on a site
- Popups – Popups should be avoided. They distract users and complicate your primary message