It seems like building website is easy with the availability of content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, ModX, etc, but the problem is that now, it is even more daunting to create a website with the requirements of ADA and WCAG guidelines (explained below). For ecommerce and informational websites in the categories of medicine, insurance, banking, medicine, technology and pharmaceutical, it is more important than ever to establish a web presence that is pleasing to website visitors with disabilities. Yes, it is not as easy as we used to design websites, but that is what change is all about.
Website owners in America are being sued for not complying. Large and small companies are now receiving summons from law firms to appear in court over visitors that cannot access the website properly which includes identifying the parts of the website with a screen reader. The Department of Justice has reported that over 61 million Americans are living with disabilities including vision, hearing, and motor skills as well as cognitive skills. 61 million Americans calculates to one in five website visitors.
As mentioned above, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the standard that is driving lawsuits. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) guidelines which specify which elements need to comply with accessibility issues.
Websites Need To Adhere to the Following Guidelines
- The website cannot be interpreted by a screen reader. Every element on every web page of a website needs to comply from photos, images, text paragraphs, etc.
- A website is designed for a site visitor with no disabilities. This means that website owners assumed that their visitors were able to see what was in front of them on the screen and they can also hear any sounds including video and audio files.
- The website is designed for use with a mouse and not the keyboard. Since visually impaired visitors cannot use a mouse, the website needs to be accessibly completely with the computer keyboard. Each element needs to be accessible with the TAB key which will advance the cursor from heading to image and any other piece of content.
- Animation may cause seizures for visitors who suffer from Epilepsy.
- Forms are hard to fill out since they do not properly identify the type of field (i.e. name, email, state, etc)
Some Cases Due To ADA Compliance Issues
- National Association of the Deaf vs Netflix
Web Design Firms Need To Do the Following:
- ADA analysis of your website.
We will look at every headline, image, and element on your website to access if it is ADA compliant. We will determine whether or not each image, photo, and piece of text is accessible through a screenreader and can be access through a keyboard.
- Prepare your website to become ADA compliant through a screen reader.
We will convert every single item to ADA compliance and make it accessible to a screen reader for visually impaired visitors. Visitors will be alerted to which item they are looking at and the screen reader will read each piece of content to them.
- Make your website easy to navigate through a keyboard.
When you enter the website, your computer keyboard will be able to move from one element to the next. The visitor’s screen reader will identify the element where the cursor activates.
- Analyze animations.
This includes scrolling text and flashy animations,
- Forms have appropriate labels to identify the type of fields.
So in other words, on a contact form, the visitors know that they are typing their name into the “Name” field and their email address into the “Email” field and so on.
If you are interested, please contact us before you receive a letter from an attorney.