Is Your Website ADA Compliant?
Out of all the boxes on your checklist to mark off with regard to websites or content creation, many businesses underestimate the necessity of ADA compliance. However, as remote employment becomes the norm and new cases are in the works each month to make ADA compliance mandatory, taking these guidelines seriously has become more important than ever. With a few simple edits, your audience with disabilities will feel cared for, and your lawyers will avoid potential legal debacles. Let’s go over the main idea behind ADA compliance for online platforms, and how a Florida SEO company such as Smashed Media can help brands navigate the difficult waters of website regulation.
In the same way that the Americans with Disabilities Act protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in places of the public by instituting regulations on building codes, transportation, and telecommunication standards, its powers are beginning to extend toward online mediums. A specific section of the ADA labeled Title III mandates that “places of public accommodation” are required to create an environment without barriers of access. In other words, public establishments need to meet standards of sight, sound, and mobility to support consumers with disabilities. The tricky part of this section is that times have changed quite drastically since the ADA was drawn out in 1990, and the internet has become more of a facet of society than anyone could have previously imagined. Therefore, the Department of Justice attempted to amend the wording of Title III to reflect “public” digital protection for online users with disabilities since 2010. It wasn’t until August of 2017, however, that the DOJ withdrew its proposal to amend Title III, stating that the department will continue to “asses whether technical standards are necessary and appropriate to assist covered entities with complying with the ADA.”
How It’s Carried Out
Whether the DOJ concludes that ADA compliance across web design should become law doesn’t really matter for your business because you should already be seeking to meet the guidelines. It’s great to stay one step ahead of upcoming legislation which may get you in trouble, but it’s even better to achieve ADA compliance for your potential consumers who need the ease of access, and we’re the Florida SEO company that can help. The World Wide Web Consortium has devised the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines which feature the technical standards online businesses must meet to be ADA compliant. These guidelines include recommendations to help users see images more clearly, captions for people with hearing disabilities, and tools to help ease of navigation through the pages. Not only are these requirements quite easy to implement for developers and SEO experts alike, but they’ll go a long way to inspire healthier workplace morale and will enhance your reputation as a brand that is considerate of other’s needs.
One reason some companies lack the initiative to configure their website for ADA compliance is that they believe it will detract from their web design in various ways. Some brands believe that amending their site may lose current consumers, and even for an SEO expert, it can be difficult to optimize pages while respecting every guideline. At Smashed Media, we’re a Florida based SEO company that understands how to maintain the integrity of your web design structure while applying tactics to meet the WCAG guidelines. Why turn away thousands of customers simply because your site isn’t as accessible as it could be? Our SEO experts can accomplish all search engine result initiatives without interfering with video transcriptions or accurate image tagging. Your web design doesn’t have to be scratched clean to achieve ADA compliance, so don’t be afraid to make the leap towards a more accessible future your customers will appreciate.