Use this 15-point checklist to ensure your website in compliance with The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Create websites compliant with American with Disabilities Act.

Creating user-friendly websites is more important than ever. To maximize web reader capabilities and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, consider these factors and refer to these online sources when developing websites and applications.

Keyboard Accessibility:

  • Ensure that all website functionality – including navigation and forms, can be accessed and operated using only a keyboard, without relying on a mouse or other pointing device.

Alternative Text (Alt Text):

  • Provide descriptive alt text for all images, graphics, and multimedia elements.
  • This helps users with visual impairments understand the content and context of these elements.

Semantic HTML:

  • Use proper HTML markup to structure content semantically.
  • Utilize heading tags (h1, h2, etc.) to create a logical content hierarchy.
  • This helps screen readers understand the content structure.

Color Contrast:

  • Maintain sufficient color contrast between text and background elements to ensure readability for visually impaired users.
  • WCAG 2.1 Level AA recommends a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for normal text.

Responsive Design:

  • Design the website to be responsive and adaptable to various screen sizes and devices.
  • This benefits users who rely on different devices or screen readers to access content.

Keyboard Focus Indicator:

  • Ensure a visible and clear focus indicator around interactive elements like links and buttons.
  • This helps users navigate the website using keyboard navigation.

Closed Captioning and Transcripts:

  • Provide closed captioning for videos, audio content, and transcripts for podcasts or audio-only content.
  • This assists users with hearing impairments in accessing the information.

Accessible Forms:

  • Design forms that are easily navigable and usable by screen readers.
  • Label form fields, provide error messages, and ensure proper fieldset and legend elements are used to group related fields.

Readable Text and Fonts:

  • Use legible fonts and appropriate font sizes.
  • Avoid using too small or overly decorative fonts, as they can be difficult for some users to read.

Navigation and Menus:

  • Create a clear and consistent navigation structure.
  • Use descriptive link text that conveys the link’s destination, and organize menu items logically.

Skip to Content Link:

  • Include a “skip to content” link at the beginning of the page to allow users to bypass repetitive navigation and go directly to the main content.

Video and Audio Controls:

  • Ensure that users can easily pause, play, and adjust the volume of videos and audio content.
  • This provides an alternative means of accessing the content for users who can’t interact with multimedia elements.

Readable Links:

  • Make sure that hyperlinks have clear and meaningful names.
  • Avoid using generic terms like “click here” or “read more.”
  • Instead, use buttons for navigation.

Consistent Layout:

  • Maintain a consistent layout throughout the website to help users understand the structure and navigation patterns.

Testing and Validation:

  • Regularly test the website’s accessibility using automated tools and manual testing with assistive technologies like screen readers.
  • Address any issues that are identified.

These guidelines are based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which provide a comprehensive framework for creating accessible web content.

Also, check out these great resources to help you design in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act: