On July 26, 1990, a law was created to prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all avenues of modern life: at work, school, on transportation, and in all public or private zones available to the public. This law is known as the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA for short. So, how does accessible web design impact me, and why accessibility matters for your website? Title III of the American Disabilities Act “prohibits discrimination based on disability in the activities of places of public accommodations.” This means that if you provide goods and services from or at a public place, you must provide accommodations for people to access them.
A recent example of a discrimination case on accessible web design is Robles v. Domino’s Pizza LLC, June 2021. This Ninth Circuit case deemed that Domino’s violated ADA title III due to its website not having accessible web design for visually impaired individuals. Based on a prior ruling from 2015, this case declared that while Domino’s website is not a “place of public accommodation,” its website does promote goods or services from a place of public accommodation. Therefore, if your business has a website and you sell goods or services in a public space, your website must be accessible to all individuals.
How Disabled Users Interact on the Internet
So, why does accessibility matter for your website? Individuals with disabilities rely on various forms of technology to navigate and interact on the world wide web. W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium) has created standard content guidelines that developers use to make content more accessible. Some tools that disabled users depend on use these guidelines as a structure to interpret information online. These tools can include screen readers, alternative text on images, closed captioning, and keyboard navigation.
Screen Readers allow users to navigate through a web page’s semantic/header tags or an image’s alternative tags to efficiently read out the synthetic text output or interpret the element to a readable braille display. However, screen readers are only as effective as the website design they view.
For video content, deaf individuals rely on closed captioning or transcriptions to read audible content. Most content today is audible, so transcriptions and closed captioning are absolutely vital for the hearing impaired.
Users with severe motor skill impairment from disorders like dyspraxia or ALS use special keyboards that combine screen reader capabilities and have large buttons that let them navigate the screen using the palms of their hands. These keyboards allow them to interface with their computer but lower the speed they can interact on the page. Without effective accessibility tools or a well-structured user interface and design flow, your business’s website can discriminate or hinder a large swath of people.
Why Accessibility Matters For Your Website
Having accessible web design promotes inclusivity of not only disabled communities but of the elderly, rural, and developing communities. Good web design also increases your brand’s reputation; users notice companies that put in the effort to include others. Today Millennials and Gen Z are the first to notice bad inclusivity practices and are more likely to condemn or “cancel” brands that are not using the best standards.
Creating accessible design improves your site’s user experience. The best experience you can have is one that you can fully participate in. The inverse is also true; the worst experience is when you cannot participate at all.
We Can Update Your Site For Accessibility!
The AD Leaf Marketing Firm wants to improve your business’ reach! Creating an accessible web design experience requires experienced developers. Our specialists are trained in the best accessibility practices
to improve your website’s user interface and user experience, increasing conversions. They will also help maintain user flow on your website using the best modern trends.
If you have questions about why accessibility matters for your website, a website redesign or maintenance, you can contact 321-255-0900, firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete our contact form. We would love to become your trusted advisor for your business!
(WAI), W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. “WCAG 2 Overview.” Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Accessed August 11, 2022. https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/.
“Accessibility Fundamentals with Rob Dodson.” YouTube. SFHTML5, February 23, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8xUCzToff8.
“Screen Reader Demo for Digital Accessibility.” YouTube. The University of San Francisco’sFrancisco’s IT Web Services Department, May 31, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEbl5jvLKGQ.
Sidoti, Mark S. “Robles v. Domino’sDomino’s: The Saga Continues – on Remand, District Court Grants Partial Summary Judgment to Plaintiff, Solidifying the Scope of ADA Website Liability in the Ninth Circuit.”
Gibbons Law Alert. Gibbons, March 14, 2022.