The ADA website compliance testing
The process of evaluating and documenting a website’s accessibility in order to make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act is known as ADA website compliance testing (ADA).
Many people are unaware that ADA compliance extends to websites. Public facing websites are places of public accommodation and must not discriminate under the ADA.
While the ADA regulations do not mention websites, the US Department of Justice frequently cites recommendations such as the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and 2.1. (W3C). The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international organization that works to develop and promote web accessibility standards.
How to test a website for ADA compliance
To ensure that your website complies with the ADA and WCAG standards, you must conduct both automated and manual testing. Many website development companies also provide web accessibility audits.
However, most businesses that want to be ADA compliant must pay for these audits. If cost is a barrier to getting your web accessibility audit, it is often recommended that you use an automated free ADA website compliance checker in addition to conducting your own manual testing.
You can also use a Google website accessibility checker to see if your website is accessible. This is a free automated WCAG 2.1 compliance-auditing tool. The WCAG compliance checker analyzes websites and generates detailed reports on accessibility issues, including instructions and guidance on how to resolve them.
If you choose to perform automated website accessibility checks, make sure the tools you use produce reliable results. A good free ADA compliance website checker will scan your website for free, identify any accessibility issues, and provide detailed instructions on how to resolve the issues.
The most important aspect of this information is that no automated website evaluation tool that can completely replace a human being’s manual audit has been developed to date.
What you should look for when testing your website for ADA compliance
When testing your website for accessibility, you should first check for both ADA and WCAG compliance.
Ensure that the accessibility standards you adhere to are in line with the legal requirements imposed by the areas of the website that are open to the public. For example, if the website is intended for users in the United States, it must adhere to the WCAG guidelines. According to WCAG, you must ensure that your website is operable, perceivable, robust, and understandable.
Other issues to look for on your website to ensure it complies with ADA requirements are as follows:
- Inclusion of alternative text (alt text)
Make sure that images, logos, drawings, and other graphics have alternative text (alt text). Because screen reader users only hear “image” without alt text, which does not convey your intent to include the image, logo, drawing, or graphics on the website.
Examining all of the alt texts on your site is also important because some images include alt text that may not provide the information you want screen readers to see.
- Use of high-color contrast
Text and images with high color contrast are easier to read and comprehend. The World Wide Web Consortium (WCAG) recommends a minimum of 4:5:1 for large text and 7:1 for other text and images. Make sure to avoid using light grey text on a white background. You can use a WCAG compliance checker to get color contrast suggestions and implement them on your site.
- Use of informative link text
Because screen readers can scan for links, informative link text is beneficial. The title of the site’s pages should always be used as the linked text.
- Look for proper text sizing and alignment
To make your site easier to read, use large, left-aligned text whenever possible. Avoid justified text because the extra space between the words makes it difficult to read.
- Make sure that text is used to support formatting
Make certain that visual formatting is not used solely to communicate meaning. This is due to the fact that some screen readers may fail to announce formatting changes such as boldface or highlighting.
- Use of numbered or bulleted lists
Make sure that whenever you list something, you number it or use bulleted lists. This is because Google Docs and Google Slides detect and format some lists for accessibility.
Need more information or help with ADA website compliance testing?
Connect with us today to learn more about, or get help with,ADA website compliance testing. You could also contact us by calling (626) 486-2201.