The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are focused on ensuring that people with disabilities access your web content according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The need for website ADA compliance is growing. In fact, in some jurisdictions, this requirement is mandatory.
What is Accessibility?
Accessibility is the practice of making your websites usable by as many people as possible. We traditionally think of this as being about people with disabilities, but the practice of making sites accessible also benefits other groups such as those using mobile devices, or those with slow network connections.
You might also think of accessibility as treating everyone the same, and giving them equal opportunities, no matter what their ability or circumstances
What is ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was adopted in 1990 with the objective of eliminating prejudice based on differing abilities. This law is heavily adapted from the precedent-setting Civil Rights Act that was ratified in 1964.
The ADA has had a groundbreaking impact on the wider society since its ratification since it resulted in the introduction of wheelchair access ramps, accessible washroom facilities alongside a variety of equal-access accommodations.
According to Title III of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), discrimination based on disability in the activities of public accommodation is prohibited. For this reason, state and local governments, as well as enterprises and non-profit entities are required to extend goods, services, and programs to people with disabilities while observing equality with the rest of the general public.
What is ADA Compliance?
The link between the ADA and websites is less straightforward. This perspective is based on the fact that, initially, the ADA did not have specific provisions for online compliance.
However, the US Department of Justice released ADA’s Standards for Accessible Design in 2010.
According to the ADA Standards of Accessible Design, all electronic and information technology devices must be made accessible to people with disabilities.
Who Needs to Comply with ADA?
Business and public entities that provide ‘places of public accommodation,’ of which the internet is a part of, are required to meet ADA compliance requirements.
It is essential to highlight the fact that the US Department of Justice is currently developing specific compliance provisions. However, it is crucial to note that prejudice on websites is not allowed, regardless.
This view is based on the DOJ’s position that was communicated publicly in a case involving Netflix. The clarification stated, ‘The Department is currently developing regulations specifically addressing the accessibility of goods and services offered via the web by entities covered by the ADA. The fact that the regulatory process is not yet complete in no way indicates that web services are not already covered by title III.’
What Defines Website ADA Compliance?
The Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C) is currently considered the benchmark for ADA compliance. Although the requirements are broad, they are classified into three crucial points of accessibility.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) define the gold standard for developing content that is accessible for people with disabilities.
Since most people browse websites using screen readers alongside other gadgets, you need to provide a label for every form control element. For instance, in the event that a blind individual is asked to provide a username, developers must use an appropriate code snippet to assist the user to comprehend the necessary information.
WCAG also directs website developers to avail features that identify page language, include an extra markup for clearing meaning, and integrate reading order with code order. Finally, it is essential that your website can respond to the user’s technology in a manner that resembles how developers code for cellphone friendliness.
When it comes to design, the requirements are focused on color and contrast. For example, there is a minimum contrast proportion for text on images, background gradients, buttons, and various components.
As of now, the recommended luminance contrast ratio is 4:5:1. This recommendation from the ADA is focused on guaranteeing appropriate accessibility.
The design guidelines also outline how to use color numbers appropriately to assist readers in distinguishing elements and offer extra identification for individuals who have challenges with the perception of colors.
Apart from identification, the recommendations also outline requirements for headings, spacing, linking, navigation, and other procedures for images and media.
In some instances, the information available on your webpage may be more crucial than the manner in which it is displayed. In this context, it is recommended that you should provide the subject of the page before the name of your business. The importance of stating the subject is connected to the fact that it helps users determine if the current information is appropriate for them or not.
Furthermore, if your pages constitute a multi-stage procedure or pattern, you are required to define the current step in the page title. Additional recommendations focus on proper heading, structure, anchor text, alt text, transcripts of videos, alongside other content categorizations that offer accessibility to visitors.
Why is ADA Compliance Important?
Firstly, ADA compliance constitutes corporate best practices. Primarily, it is crucial for every kind of business to take the initiative and work towards improving their websites to accommodate all visitors equally.
On the other hand, ADA compliance is a legal issue. Various statistical bodies have highlighted the fact that the number of lawsuits filed for ADA violations has been growing.
How Do I Comply with ADA?
This law advocates for self-regulation in relation to the accessibility standards. Currently, the ADA is formulating provisions that are focused on offering specific guidance to the entities that need to comply with this Act.
For this reason, businesses are advised to utilize WCAG 2.0 level AA guidelines as the basis of ensuring accessibility while the regulations are being finalized.
Is Secure Privacy Accessible?
Secure Privacy aims in making Privacy available to everyone. To ensure the Secure Privacy banners are accessible, we comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Here are some features that make the Cookie banner and the Preference center banners accessible
Screen reader support: The Banners are accessible via screen readers.
Keyboard navigation: Every component of the banners can be accessed using a keyboard without requiring a mouse or trackpad.
Aria labels - All the button images have
attributes to make sure screen readers can access them.
Cookie banner has a default focus when it is shown.
All the buttons and links can be clicked by using an Enter/Space bar key.
How do I Ensure my Cookie Consent Banners are ADA Accessible?
Secure Privacy is designed with accessibility in mind, however, there are few things that need to be handled by the web admin to ensure compliance with WCAG. For example, you can customize the colors of the banner according to your needs. However, check your color contrast ratio, use dark colors that match the 4.5:1 contrast ratio.