Have you been wondering how to implement website accessibility and ADA compliance for your blog pages?
Maybe you have been hearing of bloggers getting sued for not being ADA compliant but don’t know what ADA is?
So, what exactly is ADA compliance, and how do these practices apply to websites and bloggers, anyway?
Are WCAG and ADA compliance practices really all that important when building a website?
Which businesses and websites should adhere to ADA and WCAG standards?
The topic of ADA website compliance can feel complex and confusing.
To clear up the confusion and make things easier, we have created this useful post. It goes over everything you need to know.
Additionally, we will let you know where you can find the best ADA compliance checklist and our complimentary accessibility statement template!
But before we begin, please let me clarify something.
I have helped over 30,000 bloggers and online entrepreneurs with their blog legal pages but please keep in mind that although I am a lawyer specializing in International and EU Law (LLB, LLM, PhD) by profession, this article is only meant for educational and informational purposes.
It does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. I will not be held liable for any damages or losses caused by acting or failing to act on the ground of the content of this article. Should your circumstances require, I encourage you to seek legal advice through other avenues. Please read my full disclaimer for further information.
What you will learn today is extremely important but if you’re in a rush at the moment, don’t sweat it! You can always pin this post for later.
Okay, without further ado, let’s dive in!
What is ADA Website Compliance?
ADA refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act in the US. The Americans with Disabilities Act covers an array of services offered by businesses of all kinds. This act was signed in the year 1990. In 2009, it was amended to expand its definitions and requirements. By providing guidance for businesses as they cater to those with disabilities, ADA laws ensure fair and equal access to various public services.
How ADA Applies Online
For those with disabilities, these laws included access to online services. However, websites were not as necessary to daily life in 1990, or even in 2009, as they are today. As such, much confusion exists around the topic of ADA compliance in the online world.
How Does ADA Compliance Apply in the Online Sector?
To put it simply, ADA website compliance ensures that your website complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design guidelines, and therefore is accessible to those with disabilities. This means that those with disabilities who visit your website must be able to use keyboard-only access for the consumption of online content, screen readers, and other assistive technology and tools, and must be able to fully access all your content. There is a lot that goes into it, and – spoiler alert! – it’s not just alt text and captions.
Is Everyone Subject to ADA Web Compliance?
Not all businesses are subject to ADA standards. Indeed, many small businesses and LLCs may not need to be ADA compliant. However, implementing ADA-compliant web and blog page designs can be extremely beneficial to essentially all businesses and entrepreneurs.
Businesses that must always follow ADA compliance rules include:
- Nonprofits, charities, and private businesses with 15 or more employees
- State and local governments
- Companies that rely on the public or benefit the public with physical locations
- Places of business that would be considered a place of public accommodation
What About Blogs & Websites?
The thing about websites and blogs is that in some cases, courts have ruled that websites are considered places of “public accommodation” and therefore must be accessible.
Although this is still a grey area, implementing ADA compliance for bloggers may still be wise. After all, you want to ensure that everyone has equal and fair access to your website and blog posts. Plus, these compliance practices expand your demographic and improve SEO. And hey, who doesn’t want a larger audience? Not to mention the fact that implementing these compliance laws demonstrates your ability to cater to various demographics.
We’ll cover more on that in a moment.
Why Make Your Blog WCAG and ADA Compliant?
Maintaining accessibility is about much more than just improving your visitor base. There are many reasons to make your blog or website ADA Compliant. Although this process can seem like a drain on your resources, it may actually help to drive more traffic and save you money in the long run. Indeed, there are many benefits to ADA compliance.
Provide Equal Access to All Your Visitors and Avoid Discrimination
First and foremost, making your website accessible to everyone no matter their abilities is the right thing to do. We should all strive to ensure fair and equal access to our content to everyone regardless of whether they have a disability or use assistive technology.
Add Visitors and Expand Your Demographic
First of all, 15% of the population is disabled. In fact, more than 50 million people in the United States alone require websites to be ADA compliant. Therefore, without ADA compliance, millions of people are incapable of accessing your online services. Blog pages often forget to optimize ADA accessibility. By making your blog pages ADA compliant, you are breaking into a market others often miss.
Build Your Brand and Improve Public Relations
Also, ADA compliance helps you build your brand and improve your business principles. People are becoming increasingly aware of the standards of companies and their values. ADA compliance for bloggers offers you a chance to create better public relations while also building your brand.
Avoid Legal Problems
Ensuring that your web pages are ADA Compliant can help you avoid an array of legal problems. The fact is, there can be severe consequences if you neglect ADA compliance laws. Many brands have been forced to spend thousands of dollars to rework their websites after being sued over ADA compliance issues.
Significantly Improve SEO Results and Add Organic Keywords
Finally, ADA compliance can improve your SEO. Improving your search engine optimization not only helps people find you more easily online, but it boosts your visibility and branding possibilities. In fact, ADA compliance supports a range of SEO-friendly components.
ADA optimization adds all text for images, video transcripts, audio accessibility, better heading tags, and predictable consistent structures. The more ADA compliant your website is, the better your SEO will work. This is a win for visitors to your page and your back page search engine optimization!
No doubt, ADA compliance for blogs can be a game-changer. Since these transcripts give search engines ubiquitous information to crawl, they will automatically have more keywords to work with. This boosts your keywords scores significantly and allows you to create precise headings which will be easier for people to read and to find online. After all, these days, SEO is everything!
Do I Need to Make My Blog Compliant if I’m not based in the US?
As I mentioned earlier the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, designed their Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to use as a benchmark for accessibility compliance in several countries, including the US, UK, EU, Canada, Australia.
So this is not something that is confined to the US and in fact, many companies in different countries have been sued for discrimination and not making their website accessible to people with disabilities.
Like with anything legal, whether you want to comply or not comes down to your risk tolerance, your sense of legality and whether you have the budget to cover for fines and lawsuits if you’re not compliant.
But, besides the peace of mind of being legally compliant, if you make your website accessible you will reap all the benefits we discussed earlier, like
- You will give equal opportunities to people with disabilities
- Google will love you and your organic traffic will increase
- You will reach a wider audience
- You will kickstart your compliance with upcoming regulations
Just to mention a few.
WCAG: Guidelines to Web Content Accessibility
I’m not going to lie, compliance can be a complicated process. We are continuously working on our compliance. However, this process is well worth your time.
Essentially, the WCAG offered the following guidelines for website compliance.
Websites must be:
The WCAG defines three levels of compliance:
- Level A (minimal compliance)
- Level AA (medium compliance)
- Level AAA (optimal compliance).
How to Make Blogs and Websites ADA Compliant
To make your website fully ADA compliant and reap the benefits of enhancing your blogs in this way, we recommend using a comprehensive ADA checklist. Although finding reliable checklists to follow can be a hassle, we offer an amazingly comprehensive one that can streamline your ADA process.
We Offer an Awesome Time-Saving ADA Compliance Checklist
With our checklist, making your website optimized, accessible, and legally compliant, has never been easier. Better yet, we include a BONUS ADA accessibility statement.
We make it easy to make your blogs accessible to everyone, no matter their abilities!
You can read more about what we offer at the bottom of this post.
Can’t I just use a plugin?
Although our WCAG & ADA Compliance Checklist comes with a bonus list of tools and resources you can use to make your compliance easier, we recommend against using plugins, widgets, overlays, and toolbars.
While overlays and toolbars may seem like a great solution at first, they’re just a band-aid solution that doesn’t solve the real issue.
Members of our blogging community who use screen readers and other assistive technology have expressed their dissatisfaction with these plugins/overlays and have explained how they may, in reality, make it more difficult to access your content for those who have a disability or use assistive technology, defeating the purpose of providing accessibility and leaving you even more exposed to legal complications.
Although it may be a bit more time-consuming, our recommendation, therefore, is to work on your compliance manually or to outsource it to a good developer. Our checklist will make this process super easy.
What is a Website Accessibility Statement?
A website accessibility statement communicates key ADA information to the visitors of your site or blog. This statement shows that you have created your website in an accessibility-friendly way. It will also prove that you comply with ADA standards.
These statements exist for other reasons as well. They can be used to show users that you are committed to accessibility and a diverse online presence. Additionally, these statements further enhance your site’s accessibility and showcase various areas of opportunity to visitors.
By providing specific information on the website accessibility standards that your site adheres to, users will have an easier time navigating blogs, pages, images, videos, audio files, and more.
Get a Free ADA Accessibility Statement Template On Us
Although these statements can be time-consuming to create, we offer a free accessibility statement template with our ADA compliance checklist!
So, you can save time and make sure to cover all of the most important areas in your accessibility statement.
This done-for-you statement template is a value of $100!
By using our free, time-saving template tool, you can create a customized accessibility statement to further enhance your ADA compliance and communicate with visitors comprehensively.
Check Out The Best ADA Compliance Checklist and Complimentary Blog Accessibility Statement
Are you ready to make your website or pages of a blog ADA compliant? We can help! You can say goodbye to confusion and forget that overwhelmed feeling. Instead, welcome simplicity and peace of mind with our comprehensive time-saving ADA compliance tools!
No need to go down the Google rabbit hole or to spend hours deciphering complex and boring legalese. You can make your website optimized, accessible, and legally compliant easily! Just use our detailed checklist which covers it all.
We have done all the groundwork so that you don’t have to! In fact, over 30,000 podcasters, bloggers, life coaches, course creators, and online entrepreneurs from all over the world have found our online blogging and legal courses to be extraordinarily beneficial! Indeed, our legal templates let you create a range of policies, contracts, and pages for businesses. Many have benefited from the resources offered here!
What you will get:
• A Complete ADA Checklist
• A Done-for-you Accessibility Statement Template (value $100+),
• Various Tools & Resources to Make Compliance Easy (value $47)
• Priority Access to Private FB Group (36K+ members)
• Assistance with a Range of Other Key Services and Blog Classes