The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability in areas of public life—on the job, using public transportation, school—in fact, all public and private places that are open to the general public. And there’s no place more “open to the general public” these days than the Internet and your website.
The Justice Department has taken the position that the ADA does cover Internet website access, mobile applications, and all forms of information and communication technology. So far, the DOJ has only hinted that private commercial sites are at risk of a lawsuit. But disability proponents are actively and aggressively moving the countdown clock to just that.
As website designers, we have for some time integrated most of these guidelines, not as ADA issues, but as SEO issues (see May’s blog regarding SEO). We also pay great attention to the User Experience, for example, instead of posting a photo image as a number, we give every image a descriptive name. A photo of a “red sunset” might be named “red_sunset.jpg”, not “345209876.jpg”.
Designers like us will need to build new elements into new and existing websites. For example, adding a type of code that allows screen reader technology to convert text to audio for the visually impaired.
We are reviewing our current customers’ sites to assess what’s needed to follow the new WCAG 2.0 standards. If you are our current customer, you can expect to soon receive our assessment.
If you own a website designed by a developer that is no longer in business, or one that is not interested in getting your website into compliance, ActiveCanvas may be able to help you.
If you are not sure whether your website needs to be brought up to WCAG 2.0 standards, please give us a call at (772) 932-7969 or drop us a note and include your website address.
Website Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Quick List
- Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.
- Provide alternative for time-based media.
- Create content that can be presented in different ways (e.g. simpler layout) without losing information or structure.
- Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.
- Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
- Provide users enough time to read and use content.
- Do not design content in a way that is know to cause seizures.
- Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.
- Make text content readable and understandable.
- Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.
- Assist users to avoid and correct mistakes.
- Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.