What is ADA Compliance?
In 2010 the Department of Justice published the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design that all electronic and information technology must be accessible by people with disabilities.
As with building codes requiring adherence to design standards for accessibility, now so do websites in the digital age. There are many standards that apply to technologies, for example the ability to resize text, toggle between contrasts for those who have trouble reading, and the ability for screen readers to correctly describe what elements are within the website and follow the correct pattern or flow when utilizing tabs to navigate through a web page.
Does this affect me?
ADA standards generally apply to government entities or educational institutions, however they may be applicable by state law or affiliation. Based on laws surrounding ADA, the specific types of websites that require ADA compliance may be different. Our suggestion is to research ADA compliance federal laws and regulations as well as with your state.
Although you may not be required by law to meet these standards, it is always a good idea to evaluate your market and who you are serving to determine if certain people with disabilities need to access your information. If you determine the need, review the Accessibility Guidelines to determine what you should implement.
ADA Compliance is broken down into three levels, Levels A, AA, and AAA. Level A is the bottom tier of standards and the least complex. As you are required to meet higher levels, guidelines may build on top of lower level items or include new standards.
A quick reference to understand what each level includes and the definitions of each standard, we recommend using the following website. It allows you to filter based on level and other criteria.
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