ADA Website Compliance and ADA Website Audits for Law Firms



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Business and Law Firm ADA Website Compliance

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was introduced in 1990 to help the millions of Americans who live with disabilities. In everyday life, it ensures accessibility in public places and protects against discrimination. But did you know that these requirements apply not only to public places, but cyber spaces as well? That’s right – ADA is the law on the Internet, too. That means your website must meet certain standards for accessibility and functionality, and PaperStreet can help your business or law firm’s website to get there.

Web accessibility is designed to promote access by individuals with various disabilities, including mobility impairments, visual and hearing impairments, epilepsy, and cognitive impairments that can make working with computers challenging.

It is important for law firms, corporations and individuals to understand that the disabled may not be able to see, hear, or move easily, or at all. They may be required to use an early version of a browser, a different browser entirely, a voice browser, or a different operating system. The use of these alternate technologies may result in difficulties reading or comprehending non-ADA compliant websites. Thus, the slight cost to correct your site far outweighs the benefits.

The Law of ADA and Website Compliance

It is mandatory for government websites to comply with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Section 508 requires that Federal agencies’ electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities.

In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible technology interferes with an individual’s ability to obtain and use information quickly and easily.

Section 508 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. The law applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain or use electronic and information technology.

Under Section 508 (29 U.S.C. 794), agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others. It is recommended that you review the laws and regulations to further your understanding about Section 508 and how you can support implementation. Contact us today for a free consultation.

ADA Web Compliance Resources

You can determine ADA guidelines with a few interactive tools and checklists:

Key Points to Review for ADA Website Compliance

Be sure your website is not a lawsuit in waiting by reviewing our checklist to see how your website fares in accessibility testing. The features below are required for ADA compliance:

  • Images have alternate text that can be read by screen reader software.
  • Redundant links on the same page are removed or minimized.
  • The language of each page is identified in code.
  • Video content includes captions.
  • Links are provided to media players required to view content.
  • Contrast ratio between the text and page backgrounds are at least 4.5-to-1.
  • Text can be resized to 200% and the page can be zoomed in while still maintaining form.
  • Forms have labels and legends that can be read by screen reader software.
  • The keyboard can be used to navigate the site.
  • Page titles clearly and succinctly describe page content.
  • Headings are presented in proper order.
  • Buttons and links are clearly and logically named.
  • Menus are presented consistently regardless of the user’s location in the site.
  • No strobe effects or rapidly flashing colors occur on the site.
  • Automatically-played video and/or audio can be stopped.
  • “b” and “i” tags are replaced by the less visually-oriented “strong” and “em.”
  • Underlined text that does not provide a link is removed.
  • There are no empty links or heading tags.
  • There are no major validation errors.
  • “Skip navigation” functionality is provided so keyboard users can quickly access content.

For a comprehensive list of ADA requirements, please review our checklist.

We are available to consult with you to implement any required changes to your website to ensure compliance with the ADA. Contact us today.

Benefits of ADA Compliance

  • It’s the Law. It’s better to be safe than sorry! In fact, a 2019 Supreme Court decision now allows lawsuits to be formed against sites that fail ADA compliance.
  • Total Accessibility. Accessibility means that everyone can visit your site and content can be interpreted and consumed in various ways. It creates more visitors and an improved image for your firm or company.
  • Enhanced Usability. ADA compliance also requires that website content flows in a logical manner and meets the latest coding standards. It can even improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Website ADA Compliance Overview

ADA compliance guidelines certify that your website:

  • Can be read by screen reading technology for the visually impaired. For example, all images and forms should have alternate text descriptions, in-page redundancy should be minimized, page color contrast should be sufficient for reading, and all videos should have captions.
  • Can be navigated in multiple ways. Users should be able to use the keyboard to move through the site, a site map or search functionality should be provided, headings should be presented in logical order, and links and buttons should be properly named.
  • Does not contain intrusive content. The site should be free from rapidly flashing lights or colors, and users should be able to stop all automatically-played audio files or videos.
  • Uses the latest markup standards. All “bold” tags should be replaced with “strong” tags, underlined text that is not linked should be removed, and there should be no major validation errors.

For a comprehensive list of ADA requirements, please review our checklist.

Reduce Your Corporate Risk with an ADA Audit by PaperStreet

ADA compliance is important. Not sure your website is compliant? Consult us. At PaperStreet, we will test your website in a Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 audit for Level A and Level AA standards.

After our review, you will receive a report indicating exactly where your website is deficient according to those guidelines. The report is categorized according to level of priority and provides specific solutions to remedy any accessibility problem on your website. With your approval, we will edit your business or law firm’s website where necessary to make you fully compliant and worry-free.

What Happens if My Site Isn’t ADA Compliant?

It’s possible that you may need to fully redesign your law firm’s website today to comply with ADA rules and avoid a possible lawsuit. Consider an ADA consultation with PaperStreet. We have the necessary experience and knowledge to improve accessibility of your website through careful design and development improvements, as needed.

Designing websites that meet ADA accessibility standards allows those with disabilities to view content on the web, while also improving your websites search engine optimization and website usability. More than 54 million Americans are disabled and nearly 10 percent of the online population has a disability. Corporations and web designers have a responsibility to the disabled community to design websites that are accessible. Further, good business practice suggests that an audience with more than 188 billion dollars in discretionary income should not be ignored.

We are available to consult with you to implement any required changes to your website to ensure compliance with the ADA. Contact us today.

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