ADA Web Accessibility Guidelines
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has determined that web sites must be accessible to web users with disabilities, as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
A series of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines have been developed. The WCAG Level 2.1 (AA) recommendations are now the standards that website owners should follow. These guidelines break down into four different areas of website accessibility:
- Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
- Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.
- Understandable – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
- Robust – Content must be robust enough so it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.
Implementing ADA Accessibility Guidelines
We are proud to say that we design websites that follow the guidelines and policies outlined within the WCAG 2.1 standards. The following are some of the more common strategies that we employ.
- Images that convey contextual content will have alternative text specified in the alt attribute of the image element.
- Images that are purely decorative, and not contextual, will have empty, or null, alternative text specified.
- Alternate text will convey contextual relevance to the image as well as to the page that it is on.
- Images that convey complex content will use the longdesc attribute or have equivalent text content available.
- Image map area elements will have the link destination correctly titled, and will not be a duplicate of the alt text.
- We encourage that a full text transcript be provided for all prerecorded audio and video.
- We encourage the use of YouTube and Vimeo as one way to provide open and closed captions for all synchronized videos.
- We encourage that information when conveyed by color also be conveyed by context.
- A contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 will exist between text, images of text, and backgrounds behind text. Contrast ratios will be maintained when images and CSS are not available.
- Links will be distinguished from surrounding text with sufficient color contrast and will have extra differentiation when the link receives focus.
- With CSS disabled, color and font information will render, headings and paragraphs will be obvious and sensible, and any lost functionality will be provided through keyboard triggered event handlers.
- When possible, each frame and iframe element will have a meaningful title attribute.
- Page elements will NOT flicker at an unhealthy rate – less than three flashes per second.
- Pages will NOT contain marquee and blink elements.
- Cues for filling out forms will be available to users of assistive technology - mandatory fields, help boxes, error messages, etc.
- When repetitive navigation links are at the beginning of the source of the HTML page, users will be able to navigate via a “skip link” at the top of each page directly to content.
Maintaining Web Site Accessibility
- Web accessibility is not a one and done kind of project.
- Today’s Content Management Systems (CMS) make it easy for you to update, add, and edit content on the fly.
- Web sites are updated by people not aware of accessibility requirements.
- Your site should be audited on a regular basis either by an experienced web development agency or a knowledgeable internal site owner.
- This is where the subscription based tools make sense.
- WCAG standards change on a regular basis as well.
- Staying on top of WCAG guidelines and auditing your website against the success criteria not only will make the experience better for all your users, but may also save you money due to potential litigation.
Evaluating Web Accessibility
- You need a tool to scan your web site.
- But it’s not quite that easy.
- MANY of the WCAG 2.1 guidelines need to be verified manually.
- For example: A computer can’t determine if a text description adequately describes an image.
LKCS offers a subscription based web governance tool that provides additional benefits.
- Scans entire site and identifies all potential WCAG 2.1 issues.
- Makes it easy to review and understand WCAG guidelines with real-world examples of what is acceptable and what isn't.
- Keeps track of what issues have been corrected, which ones are outstanding, and which items do not need to be fixed.
- Provides monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, or on-demand scans and reports demonstrating your efforts to follow WCAG guidelines.
- Also provides tools to improve Search Engine Optimization, find and correct misspellings, monitor site uptime, and more.
Contact us for more information and pricing.