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5 Quick Facts About ADA Compliance

Is your website or mobile app compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act? Learn what it means to be ADA compliant and why you should be making digital accessibility a priority now.

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1- Does the ADA apply to websites and other technology?

Yes… and no. The ADA Title III requires that “places of public accommodations” be accessible to people with disabilities. The law was written before the digital versions of banking, shopping, and entertainment existed. There have been attempts to bring the text of the ADA up to date with modern technology, but those are currently on hold. However, the absence of clear and specific regulations has not stopped a flood of demand letters from plaintiffs’ attorneys or stood in the way of a growing number of lawsuits and settlements under the ADA for inaccessible technology. You can read more about demand letters and settlements – how to avoid them and what to do if you find yourself on the receiving end – in the ADA Demand Letters & Settlements eBook.

2- How do people with disabilities use websites and mobile apps?

The answer: Assistive Technology (AT)

AT is a broad term referring to hardware or software that enables people with various disabilities to access technology, bridging the gap between a person’s abilities and the content they want to access. Some examples of commonly used AT by disability type include:

  • Blind: Screen readers, braille displays, and speech recognition software
  • Low Vision: Screen magnification, contrast adjustments, and other methods to personalize display
  • Mobility: keyboard-only navigation, speech recognition, eye tracking, and switch controls
  • You can learn more about how individuals with disabilities interact with web and mobile technology in the Understanding Assistive Technology article series.

 

The 4 Principles of WCAG - Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, Robust

3- What does it mean for a site to be “accessible”?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines require that a website be:

  • Perceivable: If someone cannot see, written content can be read by a screen reader. If someone cannot hear, audio content has captions.
  • Operable: If someone cannot use a mouse or touchpad, they can navigate by keyboard or by voice command software. If someone moves or reads slowly, they can request additional time to complete a task.
  • Understandable: If someone clicks on a navigation menu, it behaves like a navigation menu. If an error is made on a form, an error message points out the location of the error and suggests how to fix it.
  • Robust: The site is compatible with current assistive technology and is prepared to roll up to future iterations of AT.

Let us show you if—and how—your website meets these requirements

4- Why should businesses invest in making their technology ADA Compliant?

Reduces Legal Risk
If you haven’t received a complaint yet it’s likely only a matter of time before you do. Proactive, documented efforts to make your technology accessible are the best defense against legal action.
Increases Market Reach
Estimates are that 1 in 5 Americans has a disability that affects their daily life. Technology is a big part of daily life.
Helps Sell More Products
If you sell technology B2B or B2G, having an accessibility conformance report will rank your product higher to your buyers, especially in highly regulated industries or the government.
Right Thing to Do
Just as you’d remove physical barriers to your place of business, you should also remove digital barriers for people with disabilities.
Benefits Everyone
Accessibility best practices go hand-in-hand with better user experiences for everyone who interacts with your technology.

5- How do I test my website for ADA compliance?

Visit webaccessibility.com to test pages on your website for free.  Each URL entered will include over 200 automated tests run.  You will instantly receive a Compliance Score and a list of accessibility issues that need remediation. These automated tests are a starting point to understand your level of compliance.  They will reveal many-but not all- violations. Manual testing is required to ensure a site is truly accessible.

Get a free ADA compliance check of your website