In this day and age, your website is the first place your constituents will look for information and resources, so it’s essential that you ensure that it is accessible to all. Under the nondiscrimination requirements of Title II of the ADA, state and local governments are required to provide qualified individuals with disabilities “equal access to their programs, services, or activities.” This is a strict liability law, and websites with inaccessible components can be seen as discriminatory even if the website owner is currently in the process of making updates. As such, it’s essential to review your websites for ADA compliance regularly and make sure the required updates are made promptly.
Here are a few things to look for when evaluating your website for ADA compliance, according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines:
If your website is perceivable, that means that it is presented in a manner that is available to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. This can include providing alt text on each image that is truly a text equivalent of the image and contains a complete description of the elements therein. This will allow users with vision disabilities to understand what the image contains. Similarly, all videos should have text captions to make audio and videos accessible to those with hearing disabilities.
For a website to be operable, it must not contain elements that an individual with a disability cannot perform. This should include avoiding time limits on pages, maintaining good keyboard-only navigation throughout, and eliminating all automatic content. In addition, assistance should be provided for minor typographical errors, should they occur.
An understandable website is often synonymous with having a good website in the first place. To be understandable, your website should explain complex issues in a simple and easy-to-understand manner, as well as use clear language throughout. Basic page functions should be consistent and follow expectations so that your users are able to navigate easily throughout. The use of your site should be intuitive and descriptions throughout made as clear as possible.
A robust website is one that is accessible through all browsers and is compatible with a wide range of devices. Your users may need to use screen readers or specialized browsers, and your website must be viewable in a variety of these ways. The code used throughout to create your site should also be free of errors and function on a wide range of platforms and devices to ensure optimal functionality.
If your state or local agency needs assistance with ADA compliance review, assessments, or remediation, contact ISF today. We understand that the process of modernization can be difficult, and we’re proud to help our clients transform their processes and technology to adapt to the digital world. Our distinctive skill sets, extensive experience, and decades of working with government agencies mean that our team is uniquely equipped to assist you in providing the best service possible to your constituents. Let us know how we can help.