Hi, my name is Jorge Pacheco, with Kulture Konnect branding and digital marketing, and today, we’re going to talk about ADA accommodations and how that works and relates to the internet and websites specifically.
For those who are not familiar with it, Ada is the American with disabilities act created in 1990… it was built primarily for physical accommodations usually seen in retail locations and restaurants in the form of ramps and such so people with different physical disabilities can have access to the location and its different levels.
Those regulations were created before the internet and websites were as popular as they are nowadays, and some people have attempted to take the essence of ADA regulations for physical locations and apply it to the Internet. The result has been an influx of businesses trying to accommodate the same level of accessibility disabled users, so they are able to interact with their website.
Now, the first thing we need to understand is the fact that you and I may use a browser and a website that has certain user interactions and functionalities that you can interact with through your mouse, etc. However, there are some of us that have a hard time using a browser and a website. In some of those cases, for example, there are some people that use screen readers that read the whole website to them… so, you can imagine someone navigating a site and going through the navigation bar, headers and such without getting really any context about what are the actionable items. It can be really confusing if you are attempting to buy something, download a document, etc.
There are a couple of easy thing that can be done to start fixing issues like these… the first one is something that is called alt text. What it does is that it takes any media object (image, video, document) and describes it to a screen reader. so, if someone is navigating through it and they can’t see it, at least they can hear what it is… very important for buttons, banners and, in general, any type of CTA where you expect someone to move forward and engage with your website.
This is a very small, but great step to start getting your website heading towards compliance with ADA regulations.
If you want a quick scan of your site to find out if it is ada compliant, visit ada.kulturekonnect.com for a free scan.