How to Whip Your Website into ADA-Compliant Shape
If your website were evaluated for its accessibility today, would it pass the test? If not, do you know what you need to do to get your site up to par with accessibility guidelines?
Ensuring Website Compliance with Accessibility Standards
For years, Web design has been happening with one type of customer in mind: one that has no physical limitations. If your site’s accessibility were tested tomorrow, what would happen? Just like Web developers cannot assume all users access their content from the same browser or using the same OS, they also can’t assume every user has the same characteristics. So, how do you make your website accessible?
Analyze Your Users
As you start working towards becoming compliant with Web accessibility guidelines, the first thing you want to do is understand the audience you’re doing this for, which is mostly made up of:
- Blind individuals
- Those who have dyslexia
- People with low vision
- People with physical impairments
- Deaf or hard of hearing
Follow Accessible Design Guidelines
If you’re looking for a very clear set of directives, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 are a good place to start. After all, it is the most universally accepted standard for Web accessibility.
The W3C nicely summarizes Web accessibility in their Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. The WCAG 2.0 is organized into four key concepts:
- Web content must be perceivable
- Web content must be operable
- Web content must be understandable
- Web content must be robust
These are some of the principles that can be implemented to make your website ADA-compliant:
- Provide real alternative text
- Use headings to form an outline of the page
- Provide headers for tables
- Ensure all elements of a form are properly labeled
- Create links that make sense on their own
- Use color effectively to create ample contrast
- Keep your content easy to read and understand
- Make sure all non-HTML content, like PDF and Word files, is accessible, too
Believe it or not, when it comes to accessibility, every little thing matters. Keep in mind that just because you’re following certain guidelines, that doesn’t mean your website will become boring or unappealing. At Impressions Agency, we can help you come up with a design that takes accessibility into account so that both can coexist in harmony. This might be your next project. Let’s talk about it today!