Full compliance can be a very overwhelming task for any business. Especially with content and code that has stagnant from year to year. Luckily, there are a few simple and easy steps that any business can take to not only significantly improve accessibility but also lessen the chance of being targeted for a lawsuit.
Perform an Audit
- Use the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 as a guide to implement remediation for your current site or to create a website for users with disabilities
- This includes ensuring blind or vision impaired visitors using screen reader software to access the content
- Evaluate and diagnose any third-party apps, media players, and widgets that are currently on your site to make sure they are ADA compliant
Start with the simple things
- Start by prioritizing your home page and other critical high traffic areas of your website
- Add alt-text to all images - This is different than your caption and it should be a simple description of the picture (ex: a small white dove)
- Use headings and subheading tabs - Screen readers will be able to understand the structure of the page
- Make sure each page only has a single H1 heading
- Remove or replace all vague link language such as ‘read more.’ The link’s words should describe to visitors using screen readers what they will find when they click (ex: Download Lunch Menu”)
- Make sure that your PDFs are accessible, screen readers aren’t able to read what’s in an image
- Add an accessibility statement on your site to tell users that your are aware of accessibility issues and are and will continue to work on them can help avoiding lawsuits
Even though it’s difficult to make your current website 100% compliant, you should aim to make the effort and strive for compliance. Just become familiar with accessibility guidelines so creating and maintaining an accessible website will be as easy a 1, 2, 3.