Monday, November 18, 2019

Is your website ADA compliant?

Is your website ADA compliant? It better be.

This may or may not be something you’ve paid a lot of attention to, but the Americans With Disabilities Act now includes regulations for websites.

Colors, font sizes – that sort of thing. According to an article in Forbes earlier this year "Your website, of course, isn't discriminating based on not having an elevator or ramp, but it may not be using appropriate colors, fonts and file types. Hard-to-see colors and fonts can discriminate against people with visual impairments, as can certain file types that don't allow computers to read text out loud for those who need such an accommodation." 

Read the whole thing here. It’s worth the time. Here’s another good read. Obviously, there is plenty more out there.

Your web firm is probably on top of this, but just in case, it’s not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with it . . . 

. . . if for no other reason than to avoid the expense of fighting a lawsuit. There are legitimate suits being filed, but these days, nuisance suits (the kind where the plaintiff knows it will cost you less to settle than to pay the legal fees involved with fighting it) are a fact of life. In any event, don't think you'll be able to simply point to your web design firm if the government or somebody's lawyer comes calling.

If you Google something along the lines of “is my website ADA compliant,” you’re going to find a lot of sites where you can enter your web address and get a free test. Obviously, almost all of these free checks are sponsored by companies who want to sell you solutions. But you can run the test, sometimes without even giving up your email address. Some of them will offer a detailed summary of any problems they have identified and others will just tell you how close you are to being in compliance and leave it at that.

Again, these people want to sell you something, but if you run your site through two or three and get similar answers, you’re going to get a pretty good idea as to whether you ought to be concerned or not. 

Here are two of those we’ve tried to get you started. Surely you can find more.

AudioEye Marketplace

Web Accessibility by Level Access

There are good reasons for ensuring that your site is ADA compliant. Obviously, you don’t want to run afoul of the government. Or risk a lawsuit. But if you want to be crassly commercial about it, you wouldn’t want to lose any business because someone can’t navigate your website, either.

However pure or commercial your motivation, it can’t hurt to take a few minutes and see what's what with your website.