The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including websites. There are several legal requirements that businesses and organizations must meet to ensure that their websites are ADA compliant. Here are some of the key requirements:
Website Content Accessibility
The ADA requires that all website content, including text, images, videos, and audio, must be accessible to users with disabilities. This means that all content must be compatible with screen readers, braille displays, and other assistive technologies used by individuals with disabilities. Additionally, all interactive elements, such as links and forms, must be accessible to users who rely on a keyboard or other alternative input device.
Alternative Text for Images
All images on a website must include alternative text (alt text) that describes the image for users who are visually impaired. The alt text should be descriptive and accurately convey the content of the image.
Captions for Video and Audio Content
Video and audio content on a website must include closed captions or transcripts for users who are deaf or hard of hearing. This allows users to access the audio content through visual means.
Accessibility of PDFs and Other Documents
PDFs and other documents posted on a website must be accessible to users with disabilities. This means that the documents must be compatible with assistive technologies, and all text must be selectable and resizable.
Website navigation must be designed to be accessible to users with disabilities. This includes ensuring that all links and interactive elements can be accessed and activated using a keyboard, and that the order in which elements are accessed follows a logical flow.
Compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a set of international standards for web accessibility. The ADA requires that websites comply with WCAG 2.1 Level AA standards to ensure that they are accessible to users with disabilities.
Failure to comply with ADA requirements can result in legal action, including fines and lawsuits. It’s important for businesses and organizations to take ADA compliance seriously and take steps to ensure that their websites are accessible to all users, regardless of their abilities.