An Update on Web Accessibility
April 20th, 2022
The Department of Justice published guidance on website accessibility required by the ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act, on March 18th, 2022. The DOJ guidance explains existing web accessibility standards at a high level, rather than providing new details or clarifying content, and covers different ADA topics including the importance of website accessibility, common accessibility obstacles, and how and when to make web content accessible.
This guidance is important because it gives businesses like yours a general outline of how to make your website accessible and ways to monitor accessibility. It is believed that around 20% of internet users have a disability, and inaccessible websites not only restrict your audience, but can also create legal issues. Companies of all sizes have been subject to lawsuits due to non-compliance with accessibility rights that fall under the ADA.
So should you make changes?
Based on the ADA guidance, it is recommended that businesses consider implementing various measures to ensure and validate their web content’s accessibility. Measures include things such as:
- An automated accessibility checker
- Manual review to replicate the user experience
- A way for the public to report accessibility problems
The Guidance suggests that none of these methods alone will notify you of all accessibility concerns, but that businesses like yours have flexibility to determine an appropriate accessibility review process for your web content that makes the most sense for you and your customers.
Although the ADA recommends automated accessibility checkers, we do not recommend out of the box solutions like Accessibe to solve the requirements outlined in the guidance.
Some of our recommended updates to improve your website accessibility without the help of online layovers:
- Use alt tags on your images, so they are labeled for screen readers
- Make sure colors have enough contrast to ensure all elements are visible
- Allow font-size changing for small screens and low-visibility users
- Provide transcripts for video and audio files for deaf and hard of hearing users
- Include captions in videos for deaf and hard of hearing users
To ensure your website is an inclusive environment for your customers, including those with disabilities, we recommend a website evaluation. In an evaluation with Coretechs, we will review your website against WCAG 2.1 standards and provide a list of recommended updates to improve your website accessibility. If you need assistance reviewing or updating your website, give us a call today.