The Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990. The regulations prohibit discrimination against people who are differently-abled or face challenges in the daily activities of life.
While the act was initially focused on access to employment, the regulations also relate to access as a citizen and a consumer.
If you own a commercial building, a business, or a website, you may need to make changes to address ADA requirements.
For those with mobility challenges, a failure to allow appropriate access remains a problem. Factors such as
- making sure parking spaces are flat
- marking ramp edges and curbs
- allowing for longer handrails
- wider doorways
can help or hurt your business and may put you at risk of legal action. Before you alter any feature of the front door of your building, consider access for all.
If you are building or updating a website, make sure you take a look at your headings. Those who need to use a screen reader rely on the hierarchy of H1, H2, and H3 to read your website in logical order.
Should you choose to use these settings as part of the visual appeal of your website, it may look better but read awkwardly, or render readable text incomprehensible. Use headers to create a linear, logical string of text.
If you need to change things up visually, make changes to the CSS (cascading style sheets) instead of using headers cosmetically.
Not all PDFs can be read by those with low vision or by those who use screen readers. Make sure you also include an RTF or HTML version.
PDF or portable document format, versions of documents can be particularly challenging for those who need to enlarge the item they are trying to read. You need more flexible text options to make it possible to navigate the forms you are trying to offer, especially if you are providing any form of legal documentation.
Per experts at AudioEye, one of the places where websites fail to offer access to all is in photo tagging. To test your website against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG, an ADA compliance website checker can improve the access of your website.
Whether you are posting images on your travel blog, offering legal advice, or selling products, each image that goes on your website needs a tag.
To avoid confusion, make sure that you carefully monitor the audio output of any plug-ins that have space on your webpage. Plug-ins can make you money, but they can cost you clarity if there is too much noise on your site.
When the pandemic hit, a lot of businesses moved online. The ability to offer your goods and services to any customer means that you need to offer access to all citizens as your website grows. If you are planning an upgrade, use an ADA checker.