July 15, 2021

ADA Compliance Checklist

Contributed by FIFTEEN

When FIFTEEN creates or updates a website for our clients, we want to make sure it’s accessible for everyone. That means we adhere to ADA compliance procedures for things like images, text and even overall comprehension. Otherwise, businesses may be open to lawsuits, like what happened to the pizza chain Domino's in 2019. Below are just a few guidelines we follow. How do they compare to your company’s website?

  • Images and graphics make content more aesthetically pleasing and easier to comprehend, especially for those with cognitive and learning disabilities.
  • The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) suggests avoiding images of text if the text needs to be read by a user, except in the cases of logos and brand names.

  • Images and other non-text content needs ALT text, the image descriptions captured behind-the-scenes that are read aloud to blind or visually impaired users via a screen reader.
  • Not only does this help optimize search results, but without it, a screen reader would only be able to say "IMAGE" and the context of the website would be lost.

  • Text must be able to be resized up to 200% without negatively affecting readability and website navigation.
  • Ensure that default fonts are no smaller than 9 pt/12px, as smaller sizes may be illegible on some platforms.

  • Select colors that everyone can easily read and understand, and implement a color contrast ratio of 4.5:1 (text:background).
  • Color accessibility enables people with visual impairments or color blindness to interact with digital experiences in the same way as their non-visually-impaired counterparts.

  • Audio elements over 3 seconds long must have the ability to be paused, stopped, or muted, or have volume control independent of the overall system volume level.
  • Hearing impaired individuals, as well as non-native speakers, use captions to experience audio content, which helps with comprehension and recall.

  • Present content in a meaningful sequence so that it reads logically.
  • If visual or auditory assistive technology alters the presentation format, the context is still implied.

  • All content and functions on a website must be accessible by keyboard only (no mouse required).
  • Keyboard users must be able to access all interactive elements (forms, drop-down menus, buttons, etc.), not just the main navigation or in-line links.

For full ADA compliance guidelines go to: https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/...

Download our checklist here.

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