How Can You Tell if a Website is ADA Compliant?

How can you tell if a website is ADA compliant? Well, the quick answer is you can’t. And the reason you can’t is because there is no law or regulation that explicitly states what you need to do to make a website ADA compliant.

The Department of Justice, or DOJ, is the regulatory and enforcement agency behind title two and title three of the ADA. And their official stance is that the ADA does apply to websites, but again, they have not set out a regulation that states exactly what needs to happen for your website to be considered compliant.     

So, that said, there are still, we still have a really good idea of how we can make a website accessible and ensure ADA compliant so that you best practices are WCAG 2.1 Level AA conformance hosting a conspicuous accessibility statement that includes commitment and contact information for support and feedback.

So, as I have here, on the whiteboard, the first point is that there are no explicit requirements. We don’t formally- officially know how to make a website ADA compliant, but we do have these technical standards that are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, often referred to as WCAG.  

We do have these and these standards tell us all of the different ways for most of the different ways that we can make a website accessible. So if we look to version 2.1 and conformance level AA and follow these guidelines, then we can be very sure that our website would be considered ADA compliant, along with posting an accessibility statement. 

So, practically, though, how do you prevent litigation? So how do you prevent a demand letter or a complaint from being filed against you in court? Well, the best way to do that is to remediate your website. So fix your website for the most commonly claimed accessibility issues in demand letters and in complaints filed in court.

And so what are the issues that plaintiff’s law firms are claiming most often? Well, alt text- and issues involving alt text are by far the most common; in fact, it’s surprising when you come across a complaint that doesn’t reference alt text in some fashion. Also, for any form fields, if they are missing labels, we commonly see that listed as a complaint.

And then another accessibility issue that is very important is keyboard navigability. If there are any drops on a website or any way that a user cannot use a keyboard, and navigate through the website and engage with the functionality, that can also give rise to a claim. 

So those are three of the most commonly claimed issues in litigation, and when you start taking care of the other issues that are claimed most often, then you can have a sense of relief that you have significantly reduced your risk of being sued. Now, I have for you the ADA compliance course that takes you through the entire practical side of accessibility and preventing litigation. 

So really, the point behind the ADA compliance course is that you can give this course to your developer, to your web content personnel, and have your team go through this course, learn about how to find these different accessibility issues and then remediate them. 

So I will have more information on the ADA compliance course. In the description below this YouTube video.