ADA Compliance

A handy guide to understanding the fundamentals of Website Accessibility and the packages we offer.

Accessibility shouldn’t be an after thought

Web Accessibility is Best-Practice

We’ll handle the process of making your WordPress website ADA compliant, so your visitors can browse with ease.

Perceivable

Information and user interface (UI) design are displayed to users in ways they can understand.

Operable

Navigation and functionality can be carried out via various methods, from keyboard to screen readers.

Understandable

Content and interactions are presented in a way that maximizes predictability and are easily interpreted.

ADA FAQs

What is Web Accessibility?
What is ADA Compliance
Do I really need my website to be ADA Compliant?
Will my website be certified as compliant?
What’s the difference between Conformance Level A and AA?

What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility involves following best-practices of website access, coding, display, and interaction — to ensure there are no barriers for those with disabilities. This would ideally allow all users to have equal access to both the information and functionality.

This often requires adding additional descriptive tags to existing code, improving navigation structure, ensuring colors and text are displayed in a very legible manner, etc. — so that any valuable information is available and easily accessible to all who wish to obtain it.

What is ADA Compliance

ADA is the American with Disabilities Act and is a law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Its goal is to provide clear and comprehensive standards and regulations throughout all facets of life, including public accommodations and telecommunications.

ADA Compliance covers a broad range of areas, but we’re focusing on websites here. The accessibility standards and regulations set forth by ADA are not very specific when it comes to websites. This is where the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) come into play.

The WCAG provides guidelines/documents for web accessibility, published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) — which is the main international standards organization for the Internet. Thus, the WCAG is used until the Department of Justice properly defines regulations specifically addressing the accessibility of websites.

For websites, ADA Compliance is essentially the following of specific techniques that WCAG provides guidance on.

Do I really need my website to be ADA Compliant?

To be honest — we’re not sure. Since we’re not lawyers, nor did we make the “rules”, we can’t accurately answer that. When it comes to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there really aren’t any specific technical requirements for websites.

However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore ADA or web accessibility. What we do know, is that all websites should be given a good-faith-effort of becoming easily accessible. This should be the case for any user who may wish to browse your website, regardless of their disability of type of impairment. They deserve it. Making your website accessible benefits an array of individuals and businesses.

You can learn more at this W3C Intro to Web Accessibility page.

Basically, there are standards which apply to US federal agencies, and State or Local Government websites (not business/personal websites). While some disability discrimination laws do mention websites, they don’t specify the technical standards required to comply with the law. Regardless of ADA’s lack of stating websites must be fully accessible, the Department of Justice seems to rule on the side of “they should be”.

Will my website be certified as compliant?

There is no official certification for ADA Compliance.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) contains guidelines/documents for web accessibility, which are published by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) via their Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

Neither the government, the guidelines, the organization, nor the initiative offer any official certification.

Third-party tools are available that test the conformance level of the outlined WCAG standards. Testing combined with human evaluation help determine if a website is “compliant”.

Based on the results, there are third-party companies that are willing to “certify” the website as being compliant.

What’s the difference between Conformance Level A and AA?

In simple terms, WCAG 2 Conformance Level A is less strict than Level AA — and is therefore more “easily” obtainable and maintainable.

  • Level A conformance means all WCAG 2 Level A requirements (success criteria) have been satisfied.
  • Level AA conformance satisifed all the WCAG 2 Level A requirements, in addition to the Level AA requirements.

You can read more information about understanding conformance requirements, or view the quick reference guide to WCAG 2 requirements.

Our ADA Packages

We offer the following WordPress accessibility services:

Low Tier

WCAG Level A Conformance
Recommended for minimum guidelines and acceptable compliance.

  • Audit — We use reliable tools that generate detailed compliance reports of errors on each page. These reports can be exported and compared to future reports.
  • Remediation — We manually fix Errors and Contrast issues where feasible, on all pages.
  • Accessibility Widget (optional) — We add a custom widget to all pages, to give users control to easily highlight links, change cursor size, adjust contrast levels, increase font size, and more.

Mid Tier

WCAG Level AA Conformance
Recommended for websites seeking a higher level of compliance.

  • Audit — We generate the same reports and exports. We also set up automated recurring scans to check against compliance.
  • Remediation — In addition to manually fixing Errors and Contrast issues where feasible, we also give a good-faith-effort to fix Warnings without modifying core files.
  • Accessibility Widget (optional) — We add a custom widget to all pages, to give users control to easily highlight links, change cursor size, adjust contrast levels, increase font size, and more.

High Tier

WCAG Level AA Conformance + 3rd Party Certification
Recommended for larger sites requiring a high degree of compliance with the approval of an outside source.

  • Audit & Remediation — We work with a reputable expert compliance team from start to finish, to ensure WCAG standards are met, with detailed reports provided. Optional screen reader testing is also available.
  • Certification — The third-party team will certify the site meets the requirements and provide a digital badge that can be displayed on your site.
  • Accessibility Widget (optional) — We add a custom widget to all pages, to give users control to easily highlight links, change cursor size, adjust contrast levels, increase font size, and more.

Recurring Option

Continued Compliance and/or Ongoing Certification
Recommended for all sites to ensure fresh content and updates remain compliant.

  • Quarterly (optional) — We re-evaluate key pages that may have changed and will audit and fix any new errors or contrast issues that have crept up since our initial efforts, to provide remediation and compliance every 3 months.
  • Bi-Annually (optional) — We will have an outside expert team provide a thorough audit and remediation based on their findings, which will allow them to re-certify the site to the requirements every 6 months.

The need could soon become a requirement

New to Web Accessibility Compliance?

Becoming ADA Compliant can be a lot of work! We start with the basics, and go beyond.

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Target a larger audience

Whether you target a small demographic or offer services to an array of customers, you can benefit from making your website more accessible to a broader range of individuals. Reach more visitors and keep them, by allowing screen readers to describe the images to the blind, ensuring your navigation can be used without a mouse for those with physical limitations, and more.

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Improve your SEO results

Search engines have changed — becoming more human-like in their approach to crawling, consuming, and understanding page content. By making your website more accessible, it also becomes easier for both search engines and screen readers to make sense of content and structure. Your accessibility efforts can enhance your SEO endeavors as well.

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Up your reputation

Show that your visitors are valuable and respected, by making their browsing experience a priority. Making an effort to include everyone will be apparent to those who need the accessibility that is implemented. Imagine they’ve been “getting by” on other websites, and are able to access your content with greater ease than expected.

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Avoid the worry

With website accessibility and compliance, it’s better to be proactive than reactive. Compliance should be done out of concern for your visitors — not for fear of legal action — but that can be a driving-factor for many website owners. Many esteemed brands and businesses have already been sued for lack of ADA compliance.

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