Building ADA-Compliant Websites: Most Common Accessibility Issues
In this 3-part series, we will explore how to build websites that are compliant with the “Americans with Disabilities Act” (ADA) of 1990. Recently we helped one of our clients to make his website ADA compliant. This project inspired us to do more research to learn more about the ADA and what impact it has on our website customers and others. We want to share some most common accessibility issues. So, what does ADA compliant mean for websites? The ADA is meant to ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities to explore and use the Internet as everyone else. Basically, this means that your website needs to be accessible to people who have disabilities that affect their hearing, vision or physical abilities. 🧏🏽 👩🏿🦯 👩🦼 What if my website is not ADA compliant? You could face a lawsuit if a person with a disability claims they cannot access or use your website. ADA compliance applies to any business with 15 or more employees. If you’re an e-commerce website it puts you at a much higher risk of being sued. Big sites like Target and Amazon were sued and lost! They had to pay millions to get their sites up to code. Let’s get started with Part 1: What are the most common accessibility issues? First let’s check some statistics: 7% of working-age adults in the US, UK, and Canada have “severe dexterity difficulties.” This would make them “unlikely to use a mouse and rely on the keyboard instead.” ” width=”1024″ Image from http://www.bulbman.art – Free Vector Art Users with severe visual disabilities use software called a screen reader, which is software that reads out content on the screen as synthesized speech. Like sighted users, non-sighted users want to be able to scan pages for interesting information, so the screen reader has keyboard shortcuts for navigating via headings and links, and relies on keyboard focusable elements for interaction. 2.3% of American people (of all ages) have a visual disability, not all of which would necessarily warrant the use of a screen reader. In 2016, Addy Osmani (Engineering Manager at Google working on Chrome) estimated actual screen reader usage to be around 1 to 2%. If we factor these users in with our mobility-impaired users and our power users, keyboard usage adds up to a sizeable percentage of the global audience. Back to the 3 Most Common Accessibility Issues We checked the “Top 100 Most Visited Websites by Search Traffic” (https://ahrefs.com/blog/most- visited-websites/) and we found the most common Accessibility Issues. RATINGS We will rate each issue by conformance level: A, AA, or AAA. ✓ A = lowest level of conformance ✓ AA = midrange level of conformance ✓ AAA = highest level of conformance These ratings are based on the impact they have on design or visual presentation of the pages, and whether they meet the needs of different groups and situations. This rating system is part of WCAG 2.0, the wide ranging recommendations for making Web content more accessible, devised by the W3C, the pre-eminent global authority on worldwide web and Internet development topics. Important to Note: The higher the level of conformance, the more restraining it becomes on design. » Read More
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