Three steps to getting your website ADA compliant

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ADA is looking for website compliance by 2018

By: Levi Leyba

Why wait until 2018 when the new ADA requirements for websites go into effect?  Get started making changes today to be a good business person for everyone who visits you online.  Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID.org) helps educate the public about ADA compliance topics to make the world more accessible and equal to all.

Not all websites are that same.  So some of the rules may not apply; for example, some sites might not have java script, so anything to do with java script would not apply.

These are some simple guidelines to think about today to get on your way to ADA compliance!

  1. If there is an image, there should be text

The ADA website requirements are being put into place for individuals with seeing impairments, so it is no surprise that we need to explain our photos, graphics and videos.  Here are a few items to try today:

  • Every image, video file, audio file, plug-in, etc. has an alt tag
  • Complex graphics are accompanied by detailed text descriptions
  • If an image is also used as a link, make sure the alt tag describes the graphic and the link destination
  • Decorative graphics with no other function have empty alt descriptions (alt= “”)
  • Add captions to videos
  • Add audio descriptions
  • Create text transcript
  1. Links, links, links!

Double check your website to make sure you are following these ADA regulations:

  • Create a link to the video rather than embedding it into web pages
  • Add a link to the media player download
  • Add an additional link to the text transcript
  • The page should provide alternative links to the Image Map
  • A link is provided to a disability-accessible page where the plug-in can be downloaded
  1. A few more for good measure

While we didn’t incorporate all of the rules, these will help you get to a good start before 2018 implementation date.  Here are a few more to start with, and make sure to hit all of the rules which you can find at http://www.justice.gov

  • Make sure the page does not contain repeatedly flashing images
  • Check to make sure the page does not contain a strobe effect
  • All Java applets, scripts and plug-ins (including Acrobat PDF files and PowerPoint files, etc.) and the content within them are accessible to assistive technologies, or else an alternative means of accessing equivalent content is provided
  • When text is not available use the title attribute
  • Include any special instructions within field labels
  • Make sure that form fields are in a logical tab order
  • Include a ‘Skip Navigation’ button to help those using text readers

Other online resources with this topic:

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=3d452bdf-cc82-45a2-9881-7c45e125c8f5

http://www.natlawreview.com/article/your-website-ada-compliant

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