ADA COMPLIANCE FOR WEBSITES 2021 - A COMPLETE GUIDE

Posted In - Web Accessibility Education
June 29, 2021
ADA Tray
ADA Tray

UPDATED ADA COMPLIANCE FOR WEBSITES 2021 - A COMPLETE GUIDE

We understand that the concepts and the laws of ADA can be difficult to grasp. No worries, we've got your back. This blog will answer all of your questions and give you the tools to comply with the ADA.

 

What is ADA,  and How Does it Impact Your Website?

 

Impact of ADA on your Website

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) came into existence. It is a civil rights law for the general public that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all public living areas, including schools, transportation, jobs, state and local government services, telecommunications.

The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have equal rights and opportunities.
 

The ADA has Five Titles Related to Different Areas of Public Life. 

 

Here is a short description of each title:

  • Title I - Individuals with disabilities should have equal employment opportunities.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulates this title for people with disabilities to access the same opportunities and benefits as available to people without diagnosed disabilities.

 

  • Title II - Nondiscrimination Based on Disability in State and Local Government Services.

The ADA prohibits discrimination against an individual with disabilities in all activities and services of public entities of all states and local governments.

 

Title II is regulated and enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice, which outlines the administrative processes to be followed, including self-evaluation and planning requirements, making reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures, and the need for effective communication with people with hearing vision and speech disabilities. 

 

  • Title III- Public accommodations like hotels, banks, and public transportation must comply with The ADA. 

 

Title III may sound simple, but there is a lot of unpack.  Here is where ADA compliance and digital accessibility comes in.

 

Physical Compliance: The above ADA Regulation applies to various considerations ranging from physical compliance to digital accommodations. The ADA guidelines establish multiple rules that govern physical facilities and design to ensure accessibility.

Make sure you go through the checklist by the Department of Justice - Click Here

 

Digital Compliance: Specifically, a section of the code applies to hotels and accommodation places and their online functions. These rules were stipulated in Section 36.302e of Title III.

 

REQUIREMENTS UNDER 2010 ADA TITLE III:

 

An owner, lessor, lessee, or operator (from now on referred to as "owner and operator") of a place of lodging must offer reservations to be made by telephone, in-person, website or through a third party. 

 

 (i) Modify its policies, practices, or procedures to ensure that individuals with disabilities can make reservations for accessible guest rooms during the same hours and in the same manner as individuals who do not need accessible rooms.

 

 (ii) Identify and describe accessible features of the place of lodging and guest rooms offered through its reservations system in enough detail to reasonably permit individuals with disabilities to assess independently whether a given area of lodging or guest room meets his/her accessibility needs.

 

 (iii) Ensure that accessible guest rooms are held for use by individuals with disabilities until all other guest rooms of that type have been rented and the accessible room requested is the only remaining room of that type.

 

 (iv) Reserve, upon request, accessible guest rooms or specific types of guest rooms and ensure that the guest rooms requested are blocked and removed from all reservations systems.

 

(v) Guarantee that the specific accessible guest room reserved through its reservations system is held for the reserving guest, regardless of whether a particular room is held in response to reservations made by others.

 

  • Title IV - Here, we explain the rules for Telecommunications.

This title states that the telephone and Internet companies should provide a nationwide system that allows individuals with hearing and speech disabilities to communicate interstate and intrastate.

 

  • Title V - Other Provisions

This final title contains various provisions related to the ADA, including other laws, state immunity and its impact on insurance providers, the prohibition against retaliation, illegal use of drugs, and attorney's fees. 

 

To Understand ADA Law, We Will Simplify Some Legal Points: 

 

  • There are no excuses or defenses accepted against ADA violations. Example: Team is working on it, ignorance, etc.
  • Other anti-discrimination laws are also used to sue website owners and target industries like hotels, Federal Housing Administration.
  • Any industry with less than 15 employees is exempt from ADA compliance as a place of public accommodation.

 

What is WCAG Compliance and Guidelines?

Let's touch on each of these questions so you can thoroughly understand the concept.

 

Website and mobile applications are also considered as PLACES OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS.

 

If you have a website and any commercial business, you are potentially targeted by Plaintiff's law firms.

Plaintiff's lawyers are always looking for any technical ways your website doesn't meet WCAG. With the discretion to prosecute solely in plaintiffs' lawyer's hands, they will send you a demand letter;  losing you time and money.

 

ADA is the legal side which states compliance with the law. Where in WCAG is not a law but may be incorporated into law.

 

WCAG - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations worldwide to provide a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. There are different versions ( 1.0, 2.0, 2.1) and levels (A, AA, AAA).

You can learn more about Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

 

WCAG 2.0 level A.A. recommends success criteria as the standard to gauge whether websites are accessible.

 

If our website doesn't fully meet WCAG criteria, it doesn't mean we violate the ADA.

 

Yes, we are saying that! You can also go through some authoritative sources on this: Click Here

 

We know this is long, but it will help you get rid of ADA Legislation. To help you get started, Below are some WCAG 2.0 AA Checklists! 

 

How Can You Make Your Website ADA Compliant and Accessible?

 

The acronym POUR is most commonly used to outline the process of making ADA-compliant content for websites. This stands for perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. We explain below how to use these four categories to create an accessible website. 

ADA Compliant Website

A. Perceivable

This section helps website owners ensure that all individuals can perceive the media on their websites. The content and information available on the website should be presentable to the end-user.

 

1. Text Alternatives

The visitor should be able to read all of the content on the website. Most of the time, a disabled person will find it challenging to understand non-text content like images.

 

Content producers should provide text alternatives in the form of large print, braille, speech, symbols, or more straightforward language.

 

2. Time-Based Media

This section of requirements denotes that the audio and video content should be accessible to the user.

Text-based can be an alternative to help people who have difficulty understanding the meaning of prerecorded video content.

 

3. Adaptability

The website creator should create content that can be presented in multiple ways.

Make sure to use a simple layout without losing the information or structure.

 

4. Distinguishability

The user should easily see and hear content, separating the foreground from the background.

 

B) Operable

Next, you will need to make sure your website accessibility features are fully operable. This category of rules ensures that the website's functionality should be simple and straightforward.

 

5. Keyboard Accessible

Make sure all functionality is available for keyboards for users that find it difficult to use a mouse.

SHORTCUTS on your keyboard will help a lot!

 

6. Timeliness

The users should have enough time to read and use the content on the website.

Merely able to pause, stop or hide any content as per their convenience.

 

7. Seizures and Physical Reactions

You never cause a user of your website to have a sudden, uncontrolled disturbance in their brain.

Your website should not cause any seizure or physical reactions to the visitor.

 

8. Navigable

Users should be able to quickly find the required actions and perform them with ease.

The website layout should be designed in such a way that it assists users in finding useful content. The user should be quickly aware of what website page they are on. 

 

9. Input Modalities

This newly added section in the website accessibility compliance guidelines was not present in WCAG version 2.0.

Input Modalities asks the website owner to make it easier for users to operate functionality through various inputs beyond the keyboard.

 

C) Understandable

This category suggests that you should incorporate logical functionality and language into your website.

Simply saying, information and the operation of the user interface must be easily understood by the user.

 

10. Predictability

The web design and content of the website play a significant role in the user experience.

It is necessary to create such operable web pages that can help users predict the course of action.

 

11. Input Assistance

Helps users avoid and correct mistakes.

 

D) Robust

Creating a website can be a waste if the content is not robust enough to be interpreted by the user. So, it is essential to form web pages so that those using assistive technologies can understand them.

 

12. Compatibility

The user agent should be able to retrieve, render, and facilitate end-user interaction with web content. It is advisable to increase the compatibility of websites with the user agents and their technologies.

 

E) Conformance

This segment records prerequisites for conformance to WCAG 2.1.

It also provides data about making conformance claims (it is imperative to understand the concepts carefully). It signifies what is required to be accessible.

 

13. Interpret Normative Requirements

The principle of WCAG 2.1 is standardizing and characterizing necessities that sway conformance claims. The non-regularizing article gives warning data to help decipher the rules; however, it doesn't make prerequisites that swing a conformance guarantee.

The keywords such as MAY, MUST, MUST NOT, NOT RECOMMENDED, RECOMMENDED, SHOULD, and SHOULD NOT are to be interpreted as described here.

 

14. Conformance Requirements

Success criteria to test the Conformance Requirements Measures of your website:

  • Conformance Level
  • Full pages
  • Complete processes
  • Only Accessibility-Supported Ways of Using Technologies
  • Non-Interference

 

15. Conformance Claims

Conformance determines the pages on the website. In this claim, one can cover web pages or multiple related web pages.

Success criteria to test the Conformance Requirements Measures of your website:

  • Required Components of a Conformance Claim
  • Optional Components of a Conformance Claim

 

16. Statement of Partial Conformance - Third Party Content

At times, web pages contain additional content, mainly served up by third parties. An email program or blog permits users to have remarks or applications supporting user-contributed content. Another example would be, a news site, made out of substances collected from various benefactors or locales that naturally embed content from different sources.

 

17. Statement of Partial Conformance - Language

When the page doesn't adjust, this might be performed. Yet, it would alter if availability support existed for (the entirety of) the language(s) utilized on the page. The type of that announcement would be, "This page doesn't adjust; however, would adjust to WCAG 2.1 at level X if availability support existed for the accompanying language(s):"

 

How Does the ADA Affect Your business?

How ADA Affects Business

We will sort it out for you by explaining the lawsuit: 

 

These suits were resolved with a piecemeal MONETARY SETTLEMENT that offers no compliance standard. Companies should be aware of this practice and take proactive measures to avoid this trap by assuring their online presence is ADA compliant.

 

The ADA Lawsuit

The ADA Lawsuits

Well, it takes time, but it is easy to reduce the risk of significant litigation by making your website or mobile application accessible as per the WCAG Checklist. 

 

Under the same process, you might get hit by a demand letter or lawsuit. 

 

ADA compliance cases mainly get settled in a range from $5,000 to $25,000+ depending on the entity's size.

 

Want one more tip? Once you end up settling the ADA's demand letter, you still have to go ahead making your website accessible.

 

Okay! One last kicker... You got sued once doesn't mean you can't get sued again by someone else.
 

Now, we are finally done talking about the problems. Let’s jump to some solutions. 

ADA Website Compliance Checklist Needs to be Followed:

 

It is difficult for a property to be 100% accessible, but we have created this step-by-step checklist to ensure you have an ADA- compliant website.

 

  1. Use of Appropriate Titles and Headings: A proper title on all pages is a must to give users an appropriate idea about what content is on your website. Along with a hierarchy of headings starting from H1, H2,...till, H6.

Use of Appropriate Title and Heading

2. Alternative Content: Implementing alternative content in your website is as necessary for image alt tags, video descriptions used by various voiceovers, screen readers, etc... Avoid using images for text anywhere on the website, except for logos, infographics, charts with labels, etc.

Alternative Content

3. Use of Proper Color Contrast: Adjust your font's colors that differentiate from the background that assists a color-blind person. Always remember, the text must have a color contrast ratio of 4.5:1 against its background.

Use of Proper Color Contrast

4. Use of Different Texts: Along with color contrasting, using proper combinations of bold text and appropriate bullets is of great significance.

Use of Different Text

ADA Website Compliance Checklist

5. Add skip navigation link: Also referred to as "Skip to Content," is a must for an ADA-compliant website so that the screen readers can bypass the navigation and jump on the content directly, which enhances user experience. 

 

6. Avoid the use of PDFs: Use accessible PDFs that meet the specifics as per WCAG 2.1 guidelines, supporting various assistive technologies like speech recognition software, alternative input devices, braille embossers, and more.

 

How Can You Become ADA Compliant?

Get ADA Compliant Website

Here's how you can get an ADA Compliant website.

 

You can have a website that conforms to the WCAG 2.1 standards which adhere to the given specifications. 

 

Or simply sign up for our ADA Tray® widget.  ADA Tray® works with your website's existing code to increase compliance with ADA Title III, WCAG 2.1, and Section 508 web accessibility requirements. To learn more, visit ADA Shield.

 

To ensure your website's accessibility standards to individuals with disabilities, INNsight has developed the latest and most remarkable technologies that conform to the WCAG standards.

 

With over a decade of experience, we can humbly say that we have truly mastered the art of perfecting design and software to meet regulations. 

 

Our ADA Title III Compliant and Web Accessibility Defining Product Feature Include:

 

1. Patent-Pending Innovation: INNsight is all about innovation. We have a patent pending with the USPTO on ADA Tray® and its invention.

 

2. Configurability: With the use of a real-time configuration panel, you can enable or disable any of the features available in The ADA Tray®

 

3. Efficient and Private User Data Tracking: You can easily track how many users utilized the widget and its most deployed features.

 

4. Evergreen Technology: INNsight continuously works to develop its tools and satisfy the most stringent regulations for online accessibility. We upgrade your website to conform to the latest standards.

 

5. WCAG 2.1 Conforming Website Design for Free: Websites powered by INNsight are coded as per web accessibility standards.

 

6. ADA Title III Content Management: Websites powered by INNsight are driven by a powerful Content Management System (CMS) that provides the ability to display your property level, guest room level quickly, and bathroom level accessibility features with ease on your website.

 

7. Dedicated ADA Accessibility Feature Web Page: INNsight has designed a custom dedicated web page for your website, which satisfies ADA Title III's content conditions to demonstrate all of your property's accessibility features.

With our ADA compliance services, we can guarantee your website will meet ADA Title III Compliance and Conform to Website Content Accessibility Guidelines Level AAA Version 2.1. 

 

To learn more about how we can help you, contact us at +1 (408) 508-4667 or email accessibility@innsight.com TODAY!