In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in order to prevent discrimination on the basis of both physical and mental disabilities. Among other things, it ensures that if a candidate is qualified for a job, they cannot be denied employment for reasons attributed to their physical or mental condition. It also relates to providing fair access to things like shops, services and schooling. Just as you would be required to make your bricks and mortar store accessible, it can also make sense to make sure your eCommerce store is disabled-friendly. Here are some tips on how to ensure it is ADA compliant, which in turn will gain you positive recognition from the disabled community.
Pair Audio Files, Videos, and Images with Supportive Alt Tags
When building your website, it is important to remember that there will be users who are visually or hearing impaired. If your site includes lots of images and videos, it can help to apply alt tags in order to help those with visual difficulties understand exactly what they are seeing or listening to using a screen reader tool. Subtitles with videos and audio files are also a great idea for those who have difficulties hearing. Simply put, text should be a consideration when putting together your content.
Consider the Colors of the Website
A lot of websites these days tend to use white as the main color, and for good reason. A white background can provide the right level of contrast when text and images are displayed, which makes it extremely user friendly. Additionally, some users may have issues with certain colors; for example, 8% of the population has a red-green color deficiency. So, while you may want to make your site stand out with something a bit bolder, it’s best to stick with a clean and elegant theme.
Ensure That it is Keyboard Friendly
Some consumers may also have difficulty using a mouse and use only a keyboard to navigate around your site. If your site is not keyboard friendly, this can quickly put them off, negatively affecting your bounce rate. An easy way to check your site for keyboard accessibility is to try it for yourself without using the mouse. You may find that there are lots of elements that are only activated by hovering over them with the mouse, which means a keyboard-only user would not be able to access them.
Outsource Your Web Design
Unfortunately, not all website design companies are aware of the need to make eCommerce stores ADA compliant. If you need assistance or want to make sure that your website follows the right guidelines, consider contacting an eCommerce SEO Agency like CAKE Commerce. This eCommerce SEO company can check your current setup and advise you on any changes you should make, and they always check that their designs are ADA compliant before they go live.
Making your website ADA compliant improves your credibility and wins over more users.