ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) is now showing its real impact now in the internet world too now with the need for the websites and web content to be accessible to all. When ADA first came to practice, the meaning of public accommodation places was more like the offices, schools, etc., but this has significantly changed over the last couple of decades. Now, everything for public access including websites and mobile apps should be compliant with the set standards of accessibility for disabled people.
The objective of web accessibility is to let the people with any kind of physical or cognitive impairments like vision problems, hearing difficulties, inability to use the accessories like mouse and keyboard, and also difficulty in following the multimedia concepts. A major part of this accessibility also covers the web content developed to work with assistive devices like the alternative keyboard, screen readers, joysticks, etc. used by people with impairment.
Say, for example; an ADA compliant web page is custom designed in such a way that the vision-impaired users can also use it by doing functions like ordering the groceries through an e-store or get their banking updates through screen reader features. Another instance of effective web accessibility is like websites which let the users with epilepsy type medical condition to navigate effectively through the web pages with the risk of getting seizures. The ultimate goals of Web Accessibility are to develop a savvy digital space which can be easily used by anyone as a public entity.
What is the latest need for web accessibility?
As the Siteimprove experts point out, the requirements related to ADA is changing based on the changes in technology and market needs. As of late, it is a logical move to bring all the websites also under the regulation along with the brick-and-mortar stores also as websites to provide essential services lately.
A set of updated accessibility guidelines was released by the Federal Government back in 2018, which is slowly coming into effect now with more comprehensive web accessibility regulations which the website developers need to comply with. Before 2018, the companies who were thinking of it were following the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 as the default standard.
Making an ADA-compliant website
We may also expect that Google’s search engine algorithms also consider the accessibility features too in order to decide the ranking order of websites on relevant searches. So, being compliant with the ADA standards can surely offer you some search engine optimization benefits too on the long run. Nowadays, building an ADA-compliant business website is much easier and cheaper. This can be done at best without any negative impact on the design and usability features too for the public on following the standard guidelines.
The major areas to consider while thinking of ADA compliance are the user interface design, navigation concepts, website structure, content in terms of text, images, audio, video, multimedia, hyperlinks, forms, readability factors, etc. A good web designer and development team will be able to help you to bring forth a fully ADA compliant accessible website.