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July 09, 2021 in ADA Accessibility

How to Improve the ADA Accessibility of Your Website

If you have or want to create a website for your practice or company, it should be made as accessible as possible for the millions of disabled internet users that could visit your site.

At Plastic Surgery Studios, we develop our websites with the ADA and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) in mind and offer services to improve your site’s accessibility.

5 Minute Read: 

What’s Covered in This Article: 

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) 
Does ADA Title III Apply to Websites?
What Are Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)?
How Can I Make My Website More Accessible? 
Accessibility Statement
Accessibility Tool and Menu
Audio and Video Closed Captioning 
Alternative Text for Images
Learn How to Improve the ADA Accessibility of Your Website Today

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a civil rights law that protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in public life. This law aims to give those with disabilities the same opportunities and rights as those without disabilities.

Title III of the ADA law applies to public accommodations and services operated by private entities. It requires that businesses of all sizes take the necessary steps to adequately communicate with people who have hearing, vision, and speech disabilities.

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Does ADA Title III Apply to Websites?

The ADA was signed into law before the internet became prevalent. However, over 288 million people currently use the internet in the U.S., and 61 million American adults live with a disability.

U.S. courts have ruled that Title III ADA accessibility requirements apply to websites and mobile apps. Businesses must make reasonable modifications to allow customers with disabilities to access their services online.

You may be wondering how to make a website ADA compliant. 

ADA website compliance in 2021 is not an easy task, and website accessibility guidelines were established to help web content developers make their sites more accessible.

What Are Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)?

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), founded in 1994, is an international organization that sets standards for websites across the globe. They established Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to provide technical standards for web content accessibility and explain how to make online content more accessible to those with disabilities.

The first set of guidelines, WCAG 2.0, was released in 2008. W3C expanded these standards in 2018 with WCAG version 2.1, and they are scheduled to publish version 2.2 this year.

How Can I Make My Website More Accessible?

At Plastic Surgery Studios, we evaluate accessibility early and throughout the process of developing or redesigning a website. We implement many tools to adhere to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) at the AA level success criteria as strictly as possible.

We can also help your website be more ADA accessible with the following: 

Accessibility Statement

We develop a customizable accessibility statement and add it to your website. This statement lets your users know the steps you’ve taken to make your website more accessible for people with disabilities.

This statement also allows users to contact you regarding any accessibility issues they run into with your website so they can be addressed.

Accessibility Tool and Menu

With our ADA accessibility service, we install an accessibility tool to optimize your website’s compliance. This tool adds an accessibility menu to your website that allows users to adjust the interface and design settings to meet their needs, such as text size and spacing, contrast, line height, and more. It also optimizes background processes on your site for screen readers and keyboard navigation.

Website page for a plastic surgeon with a portion of the code editor highlighted to demonstrate how the accessibility tool works.

The Accessibility Tool helps to ensure that the website is accessible to a wide audience, including those who are blind and those with motor impairments, visual impairment, cognitive disabilities, and more.

Audio and Video Closed Captioning

To make audio and video files available to hearing-impaired users, a text transcript of the information should be made available. It is important to note that captions are not necessarily the same as subtitles. Captions are necessary for accessibility; subtitles in other languages are not directly an accessibility accommodation.

We offer closed captioning services to add transcripts to video and audio files on your website.

Alternative Text for Images

Most non-text website content (images) should have text alternatives (alt text) that describe the information represented to make the image information accessible. This ensures users with various disabilities (including visual and cognitive) can access the content with screen readers or speech input software. Alt text also helps when browsing speech-enabled websites (on desktop or mobile) and helps with search engine optimization.

At Plastic Surgery Studios, we include alternative text in the markup for informative and functional images added to a website. Decorative and non-functional images do not require alternative text. This practice is not only essential to those with disabilities, but it is also beneficial for search engine optimization (SEO).

Learn How to Improve the ADA Accessibility of Your Website Today

Working with a knowledgeable internet marketing and design company is the best way to improve the accessibility of your website. To learn more about our accessibility services, call us at (888) 525-6360 today.

*Our services are intended to improve your website’s ADA accessibility; they will not make your site 100% ADA compliant.

Stay Tuned for Information on How to Improve Your Social Media ADA Accessibility

Stay tuned for our August blog on the best practices to improve your company’s social media ADA accessibility.

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