ADA Compliance and Accessible Web Design
During the internet’s early stages in 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. This piece of legislation requires public places like restaurants, stores and hotels to be completely accessible to individuals with disabilities.
ADA Compliance for the Internet
Today, the definition of a “place of public accommodation” has expanded to include the internet, and privately-owned websites are expected to make adjustments accordingly. In fact, many private businesses, like Domino’s Pizza and prestigious universities like Harvard, have faced legal action for having websites that do not make concessions towards accessibility.
Website Accessibility and the Law
During the first six months of 2018, almost 5,000 lawsuits were filed in Federal court against websites that did not, in their view, meet accessibility standards. Since many important tasks like sales and job postings are now commonplace on the internet, websites need to be accessible for everyone, just like brick-and-mortar establishments.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Although there is no formal set of government standards for ADA compliance on websites, a team of web innovators took it upon themselves to create a practically universal set of rules. They are known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
The Four Principles of WCAG
This set of standards is designed to be used primarily by web designers and web developers. Together, these guidelines dictate that all websites must follow four important principles. Not only will these guidelines help everyone understand a website’s content, but they also provide a few important optimization advantages.
Website should be able to be perceived with one or more of the five senses.
Users must be able to operate and control the website.
Users must be able to understand content as intended.
Content must be able to be viewed across many different web browsers and formats.
Bringing ADA Compliance to Websites
Fat Guy Media is committed to confronting the challenges of making websites accessible. Our accessibility solution was developed over the course of 18 months alongside people with disabilities, including blind individuals who are leading experts in assistive technologies.