A Simple ADA Checklist

  1. Provide Alternatives

· Alt Text: As mentioned so eloquently above, add alt text to all meaningful images on your website (Dear Medium…).

· Closed Captioning: All videos on your website must have closed captioning.

· Text Transcripts: Add a text transcript beneath all video-only and audio-only files.

· No Images of Text: All text must be readable by a screen reader.

2. Limited or No Automatic Content

· I always recommend eliminating automatic content whenever possible but WCAG 2.0 does give you option of having pop-ups, scrolling, and blinking content so long as you give the user the ability to pause, stop, or hide them.

· Static Website Forms: Forms must be fully controllable by the user.

3. Keyboard Accessible

· Your website must be fully accessible without a mouse, by using the arrow or tab buttons.

4. Intuitive Website

· Language and Title Tags: Set a language for your website and provide clear titles for each page.

· Skip to Content: Users must be able to skip to the heart of your content.

· Consistent Navigation and Flow: Your overall website and each page needs to be predictable and logical (e.g. Facebook — a privacy nightmare but, hey, at least their page structure is consistent).

· Descriptive Links and Headers: Be obvious in linking to or setting up content so that users know what to expect. In other words, be very obvious in wording your headers, and anchor text/text surrounding your links

· Labeled Elements: Put a label on each important element of your website.

· Multiple Ways to Access Content: Provide multiple ways to navigate through your website.

· Clear Forms: Make forms simple and easy to fill out.

· Clean Code: Your website must be coded properly and free of errors.

5. Font Thresholds

· Color Ratio: All font should sharply contrast from its background color at a 4.5:1 minimum threshold.

· Scalable: Text should be able to be resized up to 200% without any loss of functionality.

6. Only Necessary Time Limits

· There should be no time constraints on website access unless absolutely necessary.

It’s important to remember that WCAG isn’t the law.

It’s referenced as a de facto standard for web accessibility in courts across the US (and the world for that matter). Ideally, your website meets all 38 success criteria but if it doesn’t, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically inaccessible and in violation of the ADA.

The ADA only requires “the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations”.

As of now there is no law that specifically outlines what needs to be done for a website to be accessible so courts look to WCAG 2.0 as a reference.

WCAG was created by The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) which “develops standards and support materials to help you understand and implement accessibility.”

WCAG 2.1 was just released in June of 2018 so, yes, that does need to be on your radar but I wouldn’t worry about it yet.