Authors note: The following article is not intended as legal advise, I’m only a website designer and marketer — not an actual attorney. If you need any legal advise based on the information provided in this article, please speak with an attorney. I wrote this article for educational purposes only.
In the 1990s President George H. W. Bush enacted the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) to protect individuals with disabilities from being discriminated against by access barriers. The ADA is the reason we have things like disabled parking requirements, wheelchair ramp mandates, service counter height regulations in building codes, and so on.
Title III of the American with Disabilities Act mandates that all “places of public accommodation” are legally required to remove any “access barriers.” When the ADA laws were enacted, the “access barriers” were commonly understood to mean a literal barrier, such as steps leading to the entrance of a business.
At that time the internet was a relatively new thing and these “access barriers” were not taken into consideration. In 2010, the US Department of Justice would amend the language found in Title III of the American with Disabilities Act to make certain it would apply to website accessibility as well.
What does website accessibility actually mean? Accessibility means that access is to be guaranteed, with equal access, to everyone. On a website, accessibility means that all content found can be read, all images can be seen clearly, and all media be can be viewed. What are some common “barriers” of website accessibility?Website accessibility barriers include:
Text that cannot be read by speech recognition or screen reading software
Poor contrast between text colors and the background color of the website
Text is too small to read
Page titles or links and buttons are misleading and confusing
No text alternatives for non-text content such as images.
Having your website accessibility optimized will demonstrate how your business is dedicated to social responsibility as you provide equal access opportunities to all users and will improve your overall user experience. That in turn will lead to an increase in your brand reputation and customer loyalty.
Find out if your website is compliant with the American with Disabilities Act! Creative Marketing Solutions offers website compliance analysis. Request to have your website tested today by calling Micah at 605.936.2155 or send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.