Follow Jim Linkedin Twitter Facebook
Email Jim Email
Marketing & Sales
Feb 3, 2017

ADA-Compliant Websites: What You Need to Know

Sponsored Content provided by Jim Ellis - Vice President, Account Director, Signal

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications and governmental activities.
 
What you may not know is that the ADA and other standards require governmental websites be accessible to those with disabilities.
 
I’ve been asked about this by several clients, so below, I answer the most pressing questions.
 

What are the requirements?

The ADA and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require that state and local governments provide people with disabilities equal access to their “programs, services, or activities.” This encompasses all information technology – including hardware, software and documentation.
 

I’m a private employer, so this doesn’t apply to me, right?

The ADA’s information technology standards don’t apply to private companies. But the steps for making websites more accessible for disabled users can enhance the UX (or user experience) for everyone. My company, Signal, has helped many private companies voluntarily improve the accessibility of their websites. Ideally, every website should be ADA-compliant, and we believe that more companies will be prioritizing this as part of website development and redesign efforts.

 
How do you implement an ADA-compliant website?

Accessibility is not difficult to implement if it’s planned for accordingly. In most cases, it requires extra attention to website design, content and functionality to meet specified standards. It also requires routine audits of your website to ensure it stays compliant as it evolves. The steps required are different for every unique website.
 
The Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID) Foundation has a few high-level suggestions to get started:
  • Pair images, videos and audio with text. For users who are visually- or hearing-impaired, some form of accompanying text can enhance their experience. This includes captions added to videos, text transcripts of multimedia content, and descriptive alt tags coded on photos, infographics and graphical text elements.
  • Make sure you have the links. Lost links and embedded resources can be a challenge for disabled users. Create links to videos instead of embedding. Add links for transcripts of videos. And don’t forget to add links for media player downloads, so users don’t have to hunt them down online.
  • Avoid using strobe effects or repeatedly flashing images. These can trigger seizures in those who have epilepsy.
  • Be friendly to assistive technologies. Disabled users rely on a host of assistive technologies to help them with computers: joysticks, trackballs, screen enlargers, speech synthesizers and screen readers, to name a few. Java applets, scripts and plug-ins (including the ubiquitous PDF and PowerPoint files) must be accessible to those technologies.

How does my website measure up?

There are a number of website evaluation tools out there. WAVE Web Accessibility is one you can use to audit your own site for accessibility.

Jim Ellis has over 20 years of experience in marketing strategy and implementation throughout a variety of industry sectors. Since 1999 he has been with Signal, a digital agency based in Wilmington and Raleigh, North Carolina. Signal has proven strengths serving as the “local agency” for global companies, generating solid results in web design, brand identity, mobile app development, digital strategy and more. Jim provides counsel to many of the agency’s largest clients with an eye toward integrated communications and a vast knowledge of both traditional and modern practices. As a songwriter and musician with a business degree, he believes his artistic/corporate “dual personality” gives him added perspective to be an effective liaison between clients and Signal’s talented creative team. Originally from Ohio, Jim graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Business Administration.
 
 
 

Signal remarketing d02 jgartboard1
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Headshot 1016184145

Recommended Apps

Ryan Skuce - Earney & Company, LLP
Webilm julieformal kellystarbuckcom mg 5471

The Benefits of Enrolling in the TSA Precheck Program

Julie Wilsey - Wilmington International Airport
Mike stonestreet 300x300

Play it Safe When Planning Summer Celebrations

Mike Stonestreet - CAMS (Community Association Management Services)

Trending News

Coming Soon To Carolina Beach: Condos, Fork N Cork, Publix

Cece Nunn - Dec 17, 2018

Business Park Proposed For Hampstead Area

Christina Haley O'Neal - Dec 17, 2018

Half United Opens Its First Retail Location

Johanna Cano - Dec 18, 2018

In Downtown Wilmington, Port City Java Reopens On N. Front St.

Cece Nunn - Dec 18, 2018

Elizabeth Stelzenmuller Joins Business Journal, WILMA Magazine

Christina Haley O'Neal - Dec 18, 2018

In The Current Issue

Top Stories No. 3: Major Transportation Projects Get Underway

2018 Year in Review: The year saw significant investments in transportation projects around the area, including at the port, airport and maj...


Top Stories No. 4: GenX Actions Take Shape

2018 Year in Review: GenX remained a widely-discussed topic in 2018, which is ending with the first proposed settlement in a legal case agai...


Top Stories No. 8: Voters Usher In Party Change

2018 Year in Review: November election results left the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners with a Democratic majority, which has not...

Book On Business

The 2018 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Health Care Heroes 2018
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties