ADA compliance is the alteration to a site and all electronics to be accessible to those with disabilities. SEO Brand offers complete ADA compliance services to ensure your website is meeting the accessibility standards outlined by the ADA. Using both automated tools and manual testing, we’ll perform a full audit on your website to make sure that you’re following any updated bylaws regarding Americans with Disabilities compliance, and that everything from the contrast ratio on your web pages to the keyboard navigability of your site meets regulation standards.
The internet is for everyone, and that includes individuals with disabilities. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), websites – just like stores, ATMs, and elevators – are required to make accommodations that make them more accessible for those with disabilities. This is true for the standard desktop version of the website, as well as for mobile and tablet versions.
The ways that websites are designed and navigated are constantly evolving, and so too are the rules of ADA compliance. Even if you’ve previously done an ADA compliance audit on your site, it’s important to check in regularly and ensure that you’re meeting updated rules and regulations. The work you put in to ADA adherence will always be worth it, both in terms of increasing your consumer base and making certain that individuals with disabilities are able to access and enjoy your site as much as anybody else. There are over 60 million Americans living with a disability, and it is the responsibility of website owners to help them readily access information and navigate pages.
Section 508 + W3C Web Content Accessibility
The rules governing website accessibility in the United States are set under both federal and international standards.
Refers to adherence to the rules set by the United States’ Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires all federal agencies to make sure any information and communication technology they put out is accessible for all Americans. In January, 2017, the applicability of section 508 compliance was expanded to apply not just to federal agencies, but to any telecommunication product covered under section 255 of the Communications Act. This includes any telecommunications serving a business, including their website.
W3C web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG)
Are the main international standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium. The rules under the international web accessibility initiative closely mirror those of section 508, but apply to a significantly larger group of people. The WCAG is considered an accepted source for ADA compliance guidelines by the U.S. Department of Justice.
ADA Accessibility Guidelines
The purpose of accessibility testing is to audit your website for compliance to the guidelines of section 508 and the WCAG. There are twelve main guidelines, separated under four main categories:
- Making sure content is easily readable by all users. Compliance may require providing information in alternative forms (i.e. image descriptions) and using contrast to make content easier to read and see.
- Making sure that your website is functional for all users. Specific compliance guidelines include making your website navigable by keyboard, designing your website in such a way that it is easy for users to find content and figure out with page or section they are on, and allowing users to pause moving sections so they can navigate on their own time.
- Making sure that your website has logical content and functionality, including easily readable language, consistent navigation, and logical operations.
- Making sure that the backend of your website – the code – is universally recognizable by the current web standards of all browsers as well as assistive technologies.
ADA Compliance and SEO
Many of the same standards that dictate SEO best practices also apply to accessibility compliance, so it makes sense to put targeted effort into both. Guidelines such as optimizing the functionality, content, and backend of your site are pillars of SEO and ADA compliance alike, even if in one scenario you are trying to optimize for search engines while in the other you are trying to optimize for individuals with disabilities.
There are, however, some cases where ADA compliance and SEO conflict, for example when you’re writing a transcript of a video for users who may have a hearing disability but there are no keywords in the transcript text. In this case, you’d want to include the keyword somewhere else on the page, or better yet, write a script for the video that also includes the keyword you’d like to use.
At SEO Brand, we bring expertise in both SEO and ADA compliance to the table, making us better able to assist you in optimizing both of these key standards separately and together.
Get a Complete ADA Compliance Audit from SEO Brand
We want to help you make sure that your website is accessible for all. Our agency pros can look through all aspects of your website to ensure that it is meeting the guidelines set out by section 508 and the WCAG, and that you’re not barring important consumers from being able to use your site. To get started with accessibility testing, give us a call at 800-262-5023 or send us an email at email@example.com.