The ADA or the Americans with Disabilities Act is a vital law in helping people with disabilities live a normal life. There are at least 22% of Americans with at least one disability. The Supreme Court handed them a major victory by concluding that people with disabilities have a right to access websites. Therefore, businesses have to create a website that is ADA compliant. It might seem difficult but there are ways to do it easily. A website redesign is necessary to be compliant with the law.
Make sure the user can navigate the page using only a keyboard
Not all people can navigate a website using a mouse. It’s challenging for them. They can only go through the page using a keyboard. Unfortunately, up to 98% of all the websites are difficult to access without using a mouse. There should be changes on the website so that people with disabilities can navigate the page even if they only use a keyboard. The enter, escape, and tab keys are the most commonly used.
Provide image descriptions
Some people have a hard time understanding or seeing images. Even people with color blindness couldn’t appreciate the pictures. Therefore, having image descriptions is necessary. Using the “alt text,” it’s easier to understand what the picture is about. It provides a clear description even for those who couldn’t see the images. The best part is that it also helps in the search engine optimization effort. Since Google’s algorithms couldn’t read images, they will only use the descriptions. It’s easier to rank the websites and the images if there’s a clear description.
Improve the forms
The forms are crucial in any website. Some of them are essential in purchasing products and services. Others are for email and newsletter subscriptions. People with disabilities might have a hard time answering these forms. Therefore, it helps to have some visual clues. The font should also be bigger, and avoid using colors that are hard to see. Try not to create forms with several pages since they are difficult to fill out. Redesigning the forms won’t only help the people with disabilities, but anyone who doesn’t have patience in answering long forms.
Eliminate time constraints
People with disabilities might take longer to fill out forms and navigate the website. They might not even take any action for a while since they’re still figuring out what to do. Therefore, the website should eliminate all the time constraints. For instance, it helps to avoid automatically logging out people who couldn’t take the actions within a given time. It’s frustrating for people with disabilities to go through the process again because they got logged out. The time constraints will also pressure them to get things done quickly.
Simplify the design
A minimalistic approach would help in website redesign. Try to simplify the content. Don’t place too many elements on one page. Some of them can go to the next page. Prioritize the information that people want to know the most. The font size should be big enough for anyone to see. The colors should also be visible for people with visual problems. Proper color contrast guidelines need to be followed. Remove distracting graphics and unnecessary animations. Some people might experience problems with too many uncontrollable moving items on the screen. The good thing about this approach is that it appeals not only to people with disabilities but everyone else.
Provide alternatives to video content
If the company releases a video, blind people might not see them. Therefore, it helps to have an option to listen to the content. Conversely, for people who couldn’t hear, there should be a subtitle on the screen. It’s even better if there’s a sign language interpretation at the bottom.
Avoid content that could trigger a seizure
Some elements could trigger a seizure. GIFs are among them. They constantly move in a repeated motion. Try to avoid using them. Neon colors might also be a terrible choice for some people. Try to find out what else can trigger a seizure and avoid using these elements.
Create a more detailed call to action
This strategy is helpful not only to people with disabilities. Everyone will appreciate a more detailed call to action. Instead of placing a button that says click here, there should be a longer description. It tells people what to expect if they decide to click the button. It also gives them an idea about what to expect instead of leaving it up to chance. For people with disabilities, every click of the button requires effort. Avoid wasting their time by not using irrelevant calls to action.
Accessibility is important
It might seem like a huge effort for businesses to consider these changes, but accessibility matters. People didn’t choose to have the illness. They have no choice but to make the most out of life. The least that businesses can do is to improve the website to be ADA compliant.
In return, businesses that try to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities are more popular. They drastically increase their traffic and conversion rate. Remember that there are over 42 million Americans with disabilities. The number exponentially grows when considering people in other parts of the world. Therefore, even if the business puts effort into accommodating these changes, it can be rewarding.
Ask help for the website redesign
Understanding the ADA rules might be challenging. There are many details to consider to make the website more compliant. The good thing is that there are agencies that can help with the website redesign. They understand what it takes to help the website improve. Asking for help from these experts might cost the business, but it can go a long way. Besides, some companies offer help in a website redesign and other online marketing strategies. Asking for their services won’t cost a lot of money. Besides, it can lead to growth in the long run. Start by asking different agencies about the services offered and check if they have a good reputation. Look for the best web design firms and close the deal.
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