Web Accessibility and Why it is Important
Over the past three decades, large strides have been made in regards to accessibility for all Americans.
First, let’s talk about two important pieces of legislation that have been passed to make these strides:
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. The ADA is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life — to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services.
Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA)
In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) was signed into law and became effective on January 1, 2009. Title III of the ADA
mandated that all “places of public accommodation” are required by law to remove any “access barriers” that would inhibit a person with disabilities from accessing the business’ goods or services.
So what does it mean to make your website accessible?
Web accessibility is a set of rules, behaviors, code standards, and design guidelines that are used to enable people with disabilities, which comprise 20% of the world’s population, to use websites effectively.
There are many disabilities covered, and the primary categories that require attention are:
- Blind people using screen-readers
- The motor-impaired using only the keyboard to navigate
- Color blindness
- Cognitive and learning disabilities
- Visual impairments
- and more…
According to the CDC, one in four adults (61 million) in the United States have some type of disability and this population is continuing to grow. Because of this and legal obligations, it is becoming more and more imperative that you take accessibility into consideration when building your website (as well as all forms of marketing). There are many ways that you can approach making your website accessible during the building process as well as steps you can take if your site is already established and to ensure that your website remains accessible as standards evolve.
The High Road Agency can help you achieve ADA compliance on your website by utilizing an interface that is a session-based design and user interface adjustment tool that makes accessibility modifications based on a user’s individual needs.
If you have questions about the steps you should be taking to be accessible, contact us, we’d love to chat.