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April 25, 2019

How to Maintain ADA Compliance

Author: Valerie Baker

So, you’ve created a website that is compliant to ADA standards. Congrats! By doing this, you are already ahead of the curve of many companies that haven’t yet realized the importance of ADA compliance in websites. (Side note: if you’re not yet familiar with ADA, find out more here about what it is, why you need it, and how to achieve it).

An important element of ADA compliance is not just developing a website but maintaining it. While the code and content on your site may be within WCAG standards, as you make changes and updates to the website, your changes could affect that. You don’t want to go through all the time and effort into this process only to face trouble down the line because of a change you made after that fact. Here are some ways you can maintain your website’s ADA compliance.

  • Be thoughtful when adding content: If you’re adding images to your site, make sure they have alt text. If you’re adding videos, make sure they have text transcripts. If you’re creating a new page, make sure it has proper headings. To put it simply, make sure you are keeping ADA standards in mind as you add any content onto the site. Make sure everyone in your organization or at the agency you work with that can add to your website is educated on WCAG guidelines and knows the importance of them.
  • Stay informed: Your website may have been developed with the current WCAG guidelines, but compliance standards are constantly changing as new tools get introduced. Make sure you are staying informed on the latest standards and being proactive into introducing new elements of accessibility into your website.
  • Do regular audits: Whether it’s internally or through a third partner, do regular ADA audits of your website to double-check for any errors. This could include using a software tool that scans your code, or a full manual human audit. Depending on the size of your website, and how frequently content gets added, these checks could be monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually.
  • Get feedback: Be sure to have a place on your website that gives users the opportunity to give feedback or report any accessibility. We recommend having an accessibility statement on your website informing users that you have designed the website to comply with the latest standards, but if they come across any issues give them a direct way to contact you and give you the opportunity to correct the content for that user.

Work with A Digital Agency on ADA Compliance

Developing and maintaining an ADA compliant website is a big undertaking for any organization, large or small. However, developing a site to comply with these standards will save you time and money on potential litigation in the long run, while also making your services available to the 20% of Americans with disabilities that may have been missing out.

Additionally, ADA compliance standards help with SEO, help improve your business reputation, and give you a differentiator compared to your competitors. These reasons alone make it work taking the extra effort to have a compliant website and continuing to maintain one.

If you worked with an agency or ADA partner to develop your website to be ADA compliant, talk to them about developing an ongoing maintenance plan. To learn more about ADA web compliance services, contact an expert at Atilus today!

Valerie Baker

Valerie is the Senior Account Manager & Project Manager here at Atilus.

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