Common Website Accessibility Mistakes to Avoid to Ensure ADA Compliance
ADA compliance has become a hot topic in digital accessibility, especially as organizations continue to move online. If your website or app isn’t accessible, you will alienate potential users and could be violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Knowing how to effectively avoid common accessibility mistakes can ensure that your website or app is compliant and ready for all of your visitors.
Here, we’ll take a look at some common accessibility mistakes web developers should watch out for — and share some tips on how to fix them.
Learn about 508 compliance requirements
For many businesses and organizations, ensuring that their websites and digital materials are accessible to everyone is a top priority. One aspect of accessibility is 508 compliance, which refers to meeting certain federal requirements for digital content.
If you’re unfamiliar with these guidelines, click here to know how to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to information and technology. Understanding this law is crucial for companies that want to avoid legal issues and provide a positive user experience for all customers.
Properly addressing 508 compliance requirements can seem overwhelming at first, but with some knowledge and effort, it’s possible to create a fully accessible web presence.
Don’t use images of text on your website
Adding pictures of text to websites may be a current and innovative method to deliver crucial information. However, not everyone will be able to read that writing. Screen readers, which are meant to improve accessibility for persons with vision impairments, may be unable to decipher text included within an image.
Instead of employing text graphics on your website, ensure that all textual material is incorporated in the HTML code and detectable by screen readers.
Ensure that all content is accessible to keyboard users
Limited access to digital material is one of the numerous issues that persons with disabilities confront, especially those who rely only on the keyboard for navigation.
Ensuring that all material is easily available to keyboard users may make a significant impact, since it opens the door to a wider audience. Consider adding support for the tab key to allow for easier navigation across material, as well as explicit explanations on how to utilize any keyboard-specific features.
Before considering alternative input devices, make sure that all interactive features can be operated with simply a keyboard.
After all, everyone has the right to access information and enjoy a seamless online experience, which is why accessibility should be a top priority for all website developers and content creators.
Avoid using confusing colors for color-blind people
When it comes to producing great graphics, color is a tremendous tool for designers. However, if you’re not careful, your color selections might cause issues for colorblind people. To avoid this problem, ensure that all of your material is legible even without the usage of colors.
This entails increasing the contrast between text and backdrop colors so that colorblind individuals may still read the content.
Don’t forget to use clear labels and icons when giving instructions or highlighting important information. These tips will ensure that everyone has a positive experience on your website no matter what type of screen they are using.
Use descriptive link texts
Imagine trying to navigate a website without being able to see it. For millions of people with visual impairments, this is a daily reality. Luckily, screen readers exist to help them access and interact with online content. Screen readers, however, rely heavily on descriptive link texts to navigate from page to page.
Link texts like “click here” or “read more” are not helpful for screen reader users. Instead, use clear and concise language in your link texts to accurately describe the destination of the link. By doing so, you can ensure that all users can easily navigate your website, regardless of their visual abilities.
Include captions and alternative text
As we continue to consume digital media, it is essential that creators remember to be inclusive of all audiences.
For example, multimedia content such as videos and photos should include captions to ensure that all users can understand the message.
Images should include alternative text, for short alt text, descriptions so that screen readers and other devices supporting accessibility can interpret them correctly. Taking the extra steps to make sure your website is accessible for everyone not only meets ADA compliance requirements but also ensures that everyone can interact with your content.
Make sure all your page links have enough contrast
As was previously noted, individuals with low vision may find it challenging to distinguish between tints or colors that are similar, which can make it challenging for them to navigate your website if the links aren’t clearly apparent.
Make sure your page links have enough contrast to stand out for all people to have a great experience on your website. Using opposite colors on the color wheel, such as black and white, or pairing deeper and lighter hues of one color are examples of this.
For all of your page links, for instance, you might use yellow as the background and blue as the text color. They will be simple to find and click on in this manner.
Test your website with a screen reader
Finally, before releasing your website for the public to see, it’s a good idea to test it with a screen reader. So, try to install a screen reader on your system. Next, run all your pages through it.
This will give you an idea how your website appears for visually impaired users. Plus, it allows you to make sure your entire website’s content is accessible to everyone. Of course, checking out other potential issues such as slow loading times and broken links should be done as well.
Website accessibility is not merely a legal obligation, but an ethical duty to make the digital world inclusive of everyone, regardless of their physical abilities. It also opens your website to a broader audience, improving both user experience and engagement.
By adhering to the outlined guidelines, we foster a more inclusive digital space. Remember, accessibility isn’t a feature — it’s a right. Let’s join hands to make the digital world accessible for all.