ADA Compliance: The Need of the Hour

Kanchi Vasavada

By : Kanchi Vasavada

ADA Compliance: The Need of the Hour1

Interacting with some form of technology is an integral part of our day right now. Everything we need is found on the internet, we have smart home routines to automate certain routine tasks and we are close to getting completely driverless cars.

While the advancement of technology is cool, there also needs to be a revolution in how we interact with this technology. Voice assistants have changed this interaction and made it much smoother for those of us who have limited visibility or motor skills. But one of the oldest and most used means of interacting with technology is the web. Everything has a website. We get our news online, our food online, our education online and our businesses are also online. Making a website of a new business is about as basic as registering it legally.

Not only businesses but even individuals also have websites to showcase their work, their reading list, their passion projects and everything in between. There is a concept of skeuomorphism in digital design.

Skeuomorphism is where an object in software mimics its real world counterpart.

One of the earliest examples is that of the save icon which mimics a floppy disk. However, once digital spaces were defined, software designed moved to flat design. The idea behind this was that we already knew how to navigate software and therefore we didn’t need it to mimic real world things anymore.

However, this simple, basic interaction is difficult for some people. While the design was changing, it wasn’t doing much for people with accessibility issues. About a decade ago, America made an Act: the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under it is the Standards for Accessible Design. Under this, a building, for example, would have to have a ramp and not just stairs, or it would be an offense. Title III of the ADA is meant to include websites.

When you make a website, you are now required to put in certain measures that make it accessibility friendly. For your website to be compliant with this act, you will have to make it so that the content and elements are fully accessible to everyone. In order to do this, you have to add certain elements like:

  • Navigate through the keyboard
  • Each video should have captions
  • contrast color options (Dark/Light theme)
  • Font zoom in/out
  • And more…

Having an ADA compliant website not only helps the people who visit it, but it also helps you. Under this ACT, if you don’t have accessibility features, it is a legal offense.

Two of our clients, Breyting and Community Roaster wanted to update their websites to become ADA compliant and we worked with them to make the necessary changes. We added display options, ranging from inverse color, contrast color, and layout options. We also added variations in the page zoom so that anyone with a difficulty in reading small text can zoom in to read.

The head developer of our WordPress team who led these projects said, “During development, we realized the challenges that one could face when they are unable to access certain elements on a website. Our team was inspired by our clients’ inclusivity and worked on the projects diligently.”

Thinking of making your website ADA compliant? Get in touch with us.

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