Overcoming Common ADA Compliance Challenges in Web Design

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all aspects of public life. In the digital era, this includes website accessibility. An ADA accessible website ensures that individuals with disabilities can access the same information and services as anyone else, embodying the spirit of inclusivity. However, ADA Website Design presents its own unique set of challenges.

Here at EcomBack, we’re committed to creating an accessible online environment for everyone. We are experts in website development that is not just visually appealing but also ADA compliant.

Understanding the Importance of an ADA Accessible Website

An ADA accessible website is more than just a requirement; it’s a commitment to inclusivity. Websites that do not comply with ADA guidelines risk potential legal implications and lose out on a significant audience who may not be able to access their site’s content. By integrating ADA Website Compliance Services into your website development process, you demonstrate your commitment to accessibility and inclusivity.

Challenges in ADA Website Design and How to Overcome Them

ADA Website Design comes with its own set of unique challenges. Let’s delve into the most common obstacles and how to effectively overcome them.

Navigational Difficulties

One of the most common challenges in ADA website design is ensuring that all site elements are easily navigable for people with disabilities. To overcome this, web developers need to create clear, simple navigation options and include descriptive tags for all visual content.

Inadequate Keyboard Functionality

For users who can’t use a mouse, keyboard functionality becomes critical. Websites should be developed in such a way that users can navigate through all sections using only the keyboard.

Compatibility with Assistive Technologies

Many individuals with disabilities rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers to browse the internet. Ensuring your website is compatible with these technologies is integral to making your site ADA compliant.

EcomBack’s ADA Website Compliance Services

At EcomBack, we offer expert ADA Website Compliance Services that ensure your website meets all ADA guidelines. Our team is skilled in developing sites that are not just compliant but also offer an engaging and seamless user experience for everyone.

Our Approach to ADA Accessible Website Design

We ensure that your site is accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities. We do this by ensuring keyboard functionality, assistive technology compatibility, and easy navigation options in our website development process.

Using Technology to Ensure Compliance

Our team uses state-of-the-art technology and regular audits to ensure that your website remains compliant with the ever-evolving ADA guidelines.

Continuous Support and Updates

We don’t just deliver a website and leave; we provide ongoing support and updates to ensure your website stays up-to-date with the latest ADA guidelines.

The Ever-Evolving Nature of ADA Website Compliance

Just like the rapid changes in technology and design trends, ADA guidelines too, are continually evolving. EcomBack’s team stays abreast of the latest changes and ensures your website’s continued compliance. Regular audits form an integral part of our ADA Website Compliance Services, giving you peace of mind.

The Role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in ADA Website Design

Artificial intelligence (AI) can be instrumental in making an ADA accessible website. AI can automate the accessibility testing process and identify potential issues more accurately than manual methods. At EcomBack, we use cutting-edge AI technology to evaluate your site for potential accessibility issues and fix them promptly.

Accessibility Beyond Compliance:

The Benefits of an ADA Accessible Website

An ADA-accessible website isn’t just about avoiding lawsuits; it has real, tangible benefits for your business. Here are some of the benefits of investing in ADA Website Design:

Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Accessibility and SEO often go hand in hand. For example, alt text for images, a requirement for accessibility, also benefit SEO. Likewise, clear navigation and well-structured content also improve your site’s accessibility and its SEO performance.

Increased Audience Reach

By making your website accessible, you open up your business to a larger audience. This includes not just individuals with disabilities, but also older individuals who may benefit from more accessible design features.

Enhanced Brand Perception

Companies that emphasize accessibility are often seen as more inclusive and socially responsible. This can significantly enhance your brand’s reputation and attract a wider range of customers.

EcomBack’s Commitment to Inclusive Website Development

At EcomBack, our goal is to ensure that all users can interact with your website seamlessly. We see ADA Website Design as an opportunity to bridge the digital divide and make the internet a more inclusive space. Our team combines expertise in website development with a deep understanding of ADA compliance to deliver a site that is not only visually stunning but also universally accessible.

Building a Better Web with ADA Website Design

Creating an ADA accessible website is a worthwhile investment that can enhance user experience, broaden your audience, and improve your SEO. With EcomBack’s ADA Website Compliance Services, you’ll be able to navigate the complexities of ADA compliance with ease. Remember, accessibility is more than just a box to check; it’s an opportunity to create a more inclusive digital world. Choose EcomBack, and let’s embark on this journey toward inclusivity together.

WCAG Auditing and Remediation Short-Cuts to Avoid

There are a growing number of “overlay” solution providers who claim to be able to make any website WCAG compliant simply by adding a plugin or JavaScript snippet.

Over 600 Accessibility professionals and disability rights groups have co-signed the Overlay Fact-Sheet outlining why accessibility overlays such as the following are unnecessary and may impede the intended goals. AccessiBe, Accessiblelink, Accessiway, Adally, Adapte Mon Web (Adapt my Web), Allyable, AudioEye, EqualWeb, FACIL’iti, Lisio, MaxAccess, MK-Sense, ReciteME, Sogo, TruAbilities, True Accessibility, UsableNet Assistive, User1st, UserWay, Purple Lens amongst others.

According to Attorney Richard Hunt of Hunt Huey PLLC, in 2020, there were five lawsuits filed in only two weeks regarding businesses with an inaccessible website that used an accessibility overlay or widget.

To make matters even scarier, throughout the entire year of 2020, there were a total of 250 lawsuits filed for companies that used overlay accessibility solutions.

Number of Lawsuits image

Only about 30% of problems are detected using automated solutions. The phrase “overlay” implies that these methods do not repair the underlying code. They also need to be activated by the user manually.

Overlays create a negative user experience that alienates this part of your audience and puts your company at risk of brand damage and revenue loss. By utilizing overlays, you are essentially providing people with disabilities with a different online experience that has less functionality, which is in direct opposition to the goals of digital inclusion.

Creating an inclusive web environment necessitates fixing any accessibility concerns on your primary site so that you can provide one unified brand experience for all users.

There is no alternative when it comes to making your website accessible to actual people with disabilities. WCAG 2.1 A and AA audits, which are conducted by an expert accessibility consultant who understands both WCAG and programming code, are required for true ADA compliance.

EcomBack has ADA consultants that can provide the best WCAG ADA Website Compliance services.

What Are Overlay Accessibility Solutions?

Overlay solutions are automated software solutions that essentially add a layer over the site that addresses a small fraction of accessibility complications. They basically “fix” the easy stuff but leave out a lot of necessary components, which means it is virtually impossible to claim actual WCAG compliance for ADA requirements this way.

These quick solutions are typically depicted as an “accessibility button” that a disabled visitor needs to be able to find and open (which may not even be possible for some users).

  • The button opens a toolbar with options such as text adjustments (size, spacing, alignment), color (contrast, saturation, monochrome), adjusts curser, adds focus states, magnifies, and a screen reader (sometimes provided).A couple of accessibility buttons incorporate Artificial Intelligence to interpret images and automatically add alternative tags that describe images. However, accuracy and usefulness for the actual person using a screen reader are low.

What issues are ignored by accessibility overlay tools?

Absence of headings or headings that aren’t properly coded

Missing alt text on images

Link text marked clearly

No labels on form fields

Required form fields not indicated

Lack of submit button

Web Accessibility widget image

Most of these issues are huge barriers to web users with disabilities.

Why Overlay Solutions Fail to Deliver True ADA Accessibility

Those that refer to overlays as “band-aids” are correct. In fact, they’re band-aids that fail to cover the middle of the wound. They just cover the edges.

Overlays miss 70% of WCAG issues and can only be assessed using manual testing. By default, the inaccessible underlying code is fully exposed to legal trolls. While some providers claim to provide manual testing and remediation, it is only applied to the overlay layer, not the underlying code.

Additionally, overlay tools have a negative impact on the performance of your website. Because overlays are often hosted on a third-party vendor’s server, you have no control over if the overlay script is too slow to load.

When you combine all these issues together, it’s easy to see why we don’t recommend any overlay solutions. Even custom overlay solutions lack flexibility and can break during basic site maintenance. One minor change on your site has the potential to disrupt the entire overlay.

Image of Laptop with Overlay

Any person with a disability already has their favorite set of tools and browser settings. The most significant and unfortunate truth about overlay solutions is that they force a disabled user to study, learn, and customize this new set of toolbar options for each website they visit.

So, in reality, they don’t work for the actual people with disabilities behind the screen. They only work in the interests of website owners who want to avoid the expenses associated with proper web accessibility.

Lastly, people with disabilities will have a hard time using websites on their mobile devices to browse websites unless heavy customization is applied since any out-of-the-box solution will very likely fail for mobile users.

The Website Code & Violations Are Legally Exposed with Overlays

Overlay Solutions Lack Manual Testing and Remediation

Accessibility Overlays Hinder Website Performance

Overlays Override the Users’ Existing Assistive Tools

Accessibility Overlays Don’t Work for Mobile

Overlays Open Security Holes

EcomBack Has Premium ADA Compliant Website Services

EcomBack has a 7-point plan to address the issues on your website with the aim to defend the current claim and avoid future lawsuits.

After meeting with your business and discussing the right ADA compliance strategy, our expert team of ADA consultants then begins with a comprehensive audit to review the urgent errors, alerts, color contrast, media, video captions, ARIA, page flow, and other requirements to make your website accessible for people with disabilities.

We also provide an Accessibility Statement and ADA training for your business.

Contact us for a website audit consultation today!