ADA Compliance Checklist 2021
17 November 2021
ADA compliance

Here Is The ADA Compliance Checklist For 2021

Attaining website accessibility is a good strategy to avoid fines and lawsuits. Additionally, it also helps you exhibit your social responsibility and promote inclusivity.

With the rapidly changing digital landscape, achieving website accessibility is a tall order and fast-changing technology.

While this makes it more complicated, ADA compliance helps you provide a good user experience to all, regardless of disabilities. 

That said, a checklist can help you in attaining your goal of website accessibility.

If you own a website, this article is for you. Keep reading if you want to learn more about the latest ADA compliance checklist!

What is ADA Compliance?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law that protects differently-abled people and their needs. It requires employers and business owners to provide reasonable accommodations for differently-abled people to prevent discrimination.

The purpose of the law is to give everyone the same rights and opportunities.

Additionally, it guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in federal and state government services, employment, transportation, and telecommunications.

While websites aren’t explicitly included in the ADA, they’re considered places of public accommodation and are thus subject to the law. Various courts around America have enforced this, requiring websites to be ADA compliant. 

Because there are no clear guidelines for website ADA compliance, websites adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. These guidelines help websites make accommodations for people with disabilities, including:

  • Use of alternative text
  • Proper color contrast
  • Compatibility with assistive technologies
  • Audio and video transcription

Want to know more about ADA compliance for websites? Visit our guide below:

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ADA Compliance Checklist 2021

An ADA compliance checklist can serve as a great reference point to ensure that your website complies with the ADA guidelines.

Below are the latest and updated checklists that highlight all important aspects to help you make your website ADA compliant.

The Checklist

A good way to check for ADA compliance requires breaking your website down from Level A and Level AA. Additionally, this will also help you ensure that your website is accessible to users with disabilities.

You must also optimize your website for any assistive technology. This is because different assistive technologies use different programming to help people with disabilities navigate the site.

Level A Compliance

Level A provides the basic requirements and minimum standards for website accessibility. The requirements to attain Level A compliance are as follows:

✅ Use of alt text for non-text content

✅ Text captions for videos

✅ No strobing and flashing lights

✅ Videos and audio should have a transcript or audio description

✅ Links on media players must view content

✅ Replace ‘b’ and ‘i’ HTML tags with ‘strong’ and ‘em’

✅ No empty links or heading tags

✅ Titles should describe content effectively

✅ The presentation should have more than just color and convey information clearly

✅ Audio should not use autoplay and can be stopped by the user

✅ Time limits provide users the notifications

✅ Headings and titles must be readable and have a hierarchy

✅ Users should be able to navigate using a keyboard

✅ Website visitors should be able to stop automatic scrolling and blinking content

✅ There should be a skip navigation link

✅ Proper labeling and logical naming on links and buttons

✅ Page language should be identifiable in code

✅ Bad form input should notify users

✅ There should be no major validation errors on the website design

✅ Elements in focus should remain unchanged on website content

✅ Forms should be labeled properly and have legends

Accessibility checker

Level AA Compliance

Level AA requirements are a little more complicated but are important to make your website accessible. While they’re a little harder to follow, they narrow down ADA requirements further.

These requirements are:

✅ Video and audio content must have text captions

✅ Websites should keep the color contrast ratio at a level for visually impaired users

✅ Underlined text should lead to a link

✅ Users should be able to resize text to 200% without changing form

✅ Websites should not use images where text has the same effect

✅ Redundant links should be removed

✅ Language should be identifiable in code even with language changes

✅ Users must receive suggestions on how to solve input errors

✅ The contrast ratio for page backgrounds and text should be at least 4.5 to 1

✅ Pages should be accessible in several ways

✅ Navigation must be consistent in all web pages

✅ Websites should have error prevention techniques for sensitive data

✅ Keyboard focus must be visible and clear

Aside from the Level A and AA checklists, there are also other points you have to remember. Here are some of them.

Design and Aesthetic

When it comes to ADA compliance, you need to make sure that your web design is aesthetically pleasing. Not only that, but your website should be designed to be accessible to all users.

There are many ways to improve your website design. However, the most common way to do this is to ensure that your website is simple, consistent, and easy to navigate.

Navigation

One of the most important parts of maintaining website accessibility is ensuring users can navigate your site in many ways. 

For instance, you have to ensure that users can navigate your website by making it easier to use the keyboard. You should also avoid keyboard traps, where someone could be stuck on a web page using keyboard-only navigation.

Alternatives and Descriptions

Another crucial element to attaining ADA compliance is the website accessibility of your content. Content like photos and videos require special accommodations so users can easily access them.

For example, captions and transcriptions help hearing-impaired understand your content. Visually impaired users also benefit from these because screen readers read captions aloud.

Language, Titles, and Text

To achieve ADA compliance, you must ensure that your website uses a language that accessibility software can easily identify.

The language your website uses should also depend on where your website is based. For instance, a website for a US-based company should have English, while the language for a France-based website should be French.

Plugins and Widgets

Aside from the ones we’ve mentioned above, there are also tools and resources that you can use to achieve ADA compliance.

These include plugins and widgets that you can install on your website to ensure that you adhere to ADA compliance requirements.

If you’re looking for plugins and widgets, we recommend checking out AudioEye, Equalweb, accessiBe, and Userway. These tools are useful for making your website more convenient to use and will definitely help you attain ADA compliance.

Additionally, having an accessibility statement on your site also helps you show your commitment to achieving website accessibility.

Importance of Referring to an Updated and Latest ADA Compliance Checklist

The checklists above help you determine what changes to make on your website to achieve ADA compliance. Additionally, here’s why you should look for the 2021 checklist:

When differently-abled people highlight new challenges and hindrances to accessibility, authorities and lawmakers update laws and guidelines. With our increasing need for the internet, these challenges constantly change.

That said, it is necessary to have an updated and latest checklist. This way, you can make sure that your website complies with the latest regulations.

Additionally, an updated checklist also helps you provide differently-abled users with the best experience possible.

Wrapping Up

Making your website accessible is a continuous and ongoing process. New checklists constantly appear over the years, and businesses need to follow them to comply with the law.

While it can be fast-paced, these checklists are a great help to keep you on track with website accessibility. However, checklists are not the end-all-be-all of ADA compliance.

Another step you have to remember is to take the time to audit your website to check for compliance.

Take all the necessary actions to make your website ADA compliant to avoid any issues. Begin by conducting an audit of your website at Accessibility Checker 

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