ADA Compliance- An Overview
ADA also known elaborately as the American Disabilities Act was first passed in the year 1990, and in September 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published the “Standards of Accessible Design”, which states that all things related to electronic and information technology should be accessible to people with limited abilities, so that they can use the services as anyone else.
ADA gives equal opportunities to people with special abilities.
Just as any physical accommodation like automatic doors and wheelchairs are made in the real world to ease movement of people with special abilities, ADA serves the same purpose virtually. Briefly speaking, ADA gives equal opportunities to people with special abilities.
Why ADA is important for Non-profit NGOs, Government agencies and educational institutes websites
According to the DOJ these ADA standards are applicable to all commercial and public units that have “places of public accommodation”. This is inclusive any services provided on the internet. Specific regulations pertaining entities covered by the ADA are being determined by the DOJ, yet any type of website discrimination will not be tolerated under the ADA compliance.
Public entities to whom the ADA is applicable to are as follows-
- Americans with special abilities and their family, friends, and caregivers
- Private employers, with an employee count of 15 or more
- All State and Local Government agencies, inclusive of both physical and programmatic access to all offered programs and services
- Businesses operating for the benefit of non-profit organizations and the public;
The main priority of ADA is the removal of any communication barrier for the specially abled. Websites if not ADA compliant, automatically create a barrier because they become inaccessible to people who cannot see or hear. A visually-impaired person will not be able to understand what your photos or other non-text items on the website mean.
Based on this classification for availability of accessibility, it can be clearly drawn that any organization’s website, including non-profits, NGOs, Government Agencies, and educational institutes, requires to be updated as ADA compliant for the protection of specially abled applicants and employees from discrimination and harassment at the workplace. Ignorance of abiding with ADA compliance for websites can lead to a lawsuit, which is not acceptable to the reputation of renowned business.
Websites are created with the aim of reaching to wider audiences by the help of relevant keywords. However, these keywords are not relatively descriptive or ideal for assistive reading devices, which can pose a conflict with the accessibility guidelines of the ADA Compliance Act. Non-profits, NGOs, Government agencies, and educational institutes websites need to rethink their website accessibility by considering every user’s needs. This is especially necessary because these organizations are advocates for creating equality in the society.
What can Organizations do?
Many organizations do not realise the benefit of being ADA compliant. Being ADA compliant can bring around canniness that will lead to more transactions, offers, and a better overall experience across browsers. Additionally, being compliant helps in providing Google and other search engine results with digestible information that in turn assists your website in reaching a wider audience.
At present, organizations are encouraged to use the WCAG 2.0 level AA guidelines as a guide on how to become accessible until the DOJ defines fixed regulations for websites. The WCAG is a set of accessibility standards that was initiated by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) together with various other groups to aid web content developers in creating content that was more accessible everyone, including users with special abilities.
Bluelupin specializes in the creation of digital accessibility for websites and mobile applications and provides accessibility services for ADA Compliance. We ascertain that your non-profit, NGO, Government Agency, or Educational institute’s website is in compliance with all ADA guidelines. We help you by identifying violations on your website, if any, by performing necessary audits of your online properties. You can always get in touch with us via email@example.com to discuss your requirements.