ADA Compliant Websites

Is your custom website accessible to all visitors? Learn about why you need an ADA website.

It’s important that your custom website is accessible to any and all users. While many local business owners are focused on what the site looks like, we need to consider those who may not be able to access the content the same way as those without disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has requirements that local website builders must implement to develop ADA websites

ada compliant website design

Let’s take a moment to review the current ADA requirements for local website design:

  • Regardless if an individual is blind, deaf, or requires technological assistance to visit your website, the content must be accessible to all users. 
  • Businesses that fall under ADA requirements are those that have 15 or more full-time employees at least 20 weeks or more during a regular calendar year. In addition, businesses that fall under Title I or Title III are included along with businesses that are “public accommodation”. 
  • No specific regulations have been created. However, recommendations for local website designers are available from the ADA and W3C
  • Businesses that fall under ADA requirements and do not create an ADA compliant website are subject to lawsuits, financial restitution, and a poor brand image. 

When ADA compliance is mentioned, local business owners typically think of physical accommodations such as service animals entering their store, wheelchair ramps, and Braille. When it comes to websites, ADA must be incorporated as well. The Internet was created to allow anyone anywhere the ability to access information. With a few adjustments to your custom website design, any users will be able to access your website. 

ADA compliant websites look very similar to websites you know and love across the web. The differences between an ADA website and a non-ADA website is the internal structure and user interface. While no specific regulations are currently in place, it’s important for businesses to make websites as accessible as possible. Currently, only those falling under ADA Title I, ADA Title III, or “public accommodation” are the only businesses that are required to create an ADA website. However, every business can benefit from making ADA accommodations sooner than later. With the right precautions and an ADA website, your business can avoid costly lawsuits and a damaged brand image. 

Which Businesses Need an ADA Compliant Website?

ada accessible website

If you’re looking for your short answer, here is it: Every business needs an ADA compliant website.

However, only certain businesses are required to have an ADA compliant website.

Those who are required to have an ADA website are:

  • Businesses who fall under ADA Title I or ADA Title III
  • Businesses with 15+ full-time employees at least 20+ during a regular calendar year 
  • Business considered “public accommodation”

Businesses that are considered “public accommodation” are hotels, public transportation, banks, and other services that everyone needs.

Now, why does every business need an ADA compliant website? It’s simple: every user deserves to have a positive user experience. This means they should be able to easily make purchases, find information, book appointments, fill out forms, and other functions your website provides. 

What Are the ADA Compliant Website Regulations?

Currently, no clear regulations or guidelines have been put in place by the ADA. However, this does not mean that businesses who are required to have an ADA website are off the hook. Businesses that fall under ADA requirements must provide an ADA accessible website. 

 The ADA wants to see you are doing everything in your power to allow all users the ability to access your website. When the ADA releases clearer guidelines in the future, it will be far simpler to create a website that checks off every box.

What Do I Need to Create an ADA Compliant Website?

Like all custom website design projects, creating an ADA website should be left to the professionals. There is more that goes into a website than just pages and tabs. The internal structure must be built correctly in order to earn an SEO ranking. In addition, the structure must be properly created from the beginning to ensure it is accessible to all users. 

ada website design

An ADA website design package from a reputable web designer ensures your new custom website has:

  • Image Alt Tags: Known for helping bot crawlers identify images so your SEO ranking improves, image alt tags allows those who are visually impaired to understand the image that is on the screen. 
  • Video Transcripts: Those who are hearing impaired can read the video transcript and understand the content. Without these transcripts, they very well may skip past this content. 
  • Site Language Required: Header tags must identify what language your site is written in so that those with screen readers can have the content translated to their language. From there, users can understand and engage with your content. 
  • 404 & Recommendations: If a user lands on a page, your 404 error must say more than “go back to the previous page”. Make a recommendation to a main page so that users can find content on your site. 
  • User-Friendly Navigation: Simply, clear navigation is required so any user can flow through your ADA site without any issues. 

You do not want to lose out on traffic on their site due to lack of accessibility. Any user can - and should - be able to utilize your website. 

What Happens If a Website Isn’t ADA Compliant?

ada requirements

If your business fall under ADA regulations and you do not have an ADA compliant website, you can expect:

  • Fines up to $50,000
  • Damaged brand image
  • Poor Word of Mouth (WOM)
  • Costly lawsuits

Beyond the financial punishments, you may lose out on high-quality, lifelong customers. Between possible repeat purchases and WOM, you could lose out on thousands of dollars in their lifetime customer value. 

Join The Email List

You'll never miss out on the latest blog from Emily again!

Digital Marketing Expertise

Emily Marie Marketing / ˈɛmɪli məˈri ˈmɑrkətɪŋ / (noun)
A personal brand for a digital marketing expert who  continues to grow and excel within the industry. 
phoneenvelope linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram