More and more attention is being paid to 'ADA Compliant Websites' as there has been a significant increase in the number of lawsuits brought against companies with non-compliant sites. At Clarity Connect, we are fully behind the spirit of ADA compliance. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to ensure 100% compliance.
Even though there is a lot of information about website accessibility, but it is difficult to discern what constitutes compliance, and there is no simple solution. Here are excerpts of some of the relevant information:
U.S. courts and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have continually referenced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA success criteria as the standard to gauge whether websites are accessible. The WCAG 2.0 AA success criteria are comprised of 38 requirements (including level A), individually referred to as success criterion.
WCAG is not the law, but it is a helpful technical reference.
Because there is no explicit web accessibility law for private entities in the United States, there is no exact answer as to what is required. However, if you read through any lawsuits or past DOJ Title III website actions, you know that the best practice is to bring your website in conformance with WCAG 2.1 AA.
It isn’t always clear whether your website meets certain success criteria. WCAG is a technical guide and both the wording and what is being asked can be hazy or outright difficult to understand. Moreover, it may be tough for you to know exactly how to apply certain success criteria to your unique website.
If you're having trouble sleeping, you might want to check out https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/quickref/, as it doesn't get much more boring than that. But, it does have good information. We are working through it to develop strategies to offer our website customers tools to help them with compliance.
We do not offer legal advice on any front, but we believe that the lawsuits do target egregious offenders. As plant libraries typically represent a significant amount of content on our customers' websites, we are rolling out an upgrade to our Plant Database Manager. As the Plant Database Manager is the primary source of images for most of our customers, we upgraded the Plant Editor to have Alt Tags associated with every image and characteristic icon. You can check it out here, https://www.clarity-connect.com/page/Alt-Tag-for-Plant-Library
We will add similar functionality to other core tools in the coming months, but we wanted to start with the tool that will provide the most benefit for our customers.
The following are some online tools you can use to help test your site for ADA compliance. No single automated tool will identify all potential problems, but they provide you with a good start.