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Blog Post

What is ADA Compliance? A Primer for Creating an Accessible Website

3 minutes

If you’re asking yourself, ‘What’s ADA compliance?’, you’re not alone. It’s an aspect often overlooked, yet carries significant importance for both user experience and your business bottom line.

ADA, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, is a law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all public life areas. For your website, this means having features that make it accessible for all users, including those with a range of disabilities.

ADA compliance for your website is not merely a considerate gesture; it has scores of benefits for SEO, audience reach, legal protection, and more. Indeed, tapping into the power of ADA compliance could be your secret weapon for online success. Below, we reveal some of the most important features an ADA-compliant website requires – from enhancing user experience to potential SEO advantages – and how you can level up your web presence. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

The Top 5 Considerations of an ADA-Compliant Website

1. Keyboard Controls

Can all interactive features on your website be operated using just a keyboard? This includes navigation, forms, buttons, and any other interactive elements. A clear, logical tab order allows users to easily navigate your content.

2. Clearly Defined Links

Making sure your links and buttons are obvious is key for directing users to the info they need on your site. Did you know that all links need two distinctive changes on hover, or that they need to be enclosed on all four sides in order to be considered accessible?

3. ​​Semantic HTML

Headings (h1, h2, h3, etc.) should be applied in a hierarchical manner, lists should be used for list content, and links and buttons should be labeled appropriately. All these help screen readers interpret and convey content accurately to users.

4. Color Contrast

The contrast between text and background colors is critical. For users with visual impairments, high-contrast content makes all the difference. Various online tools can ensure you are meeting the ideal ratios for your desired compliance level.

5. Accessible Forms & Documents

Your site isn’t compliant unless all of the content is! This includes forms and documents, like PDFs. Labeling form fields properly, providing clear instructions, and ensuring error messages are informative and accessible will lead to higher conversion rates.


ADA Case Study: ShopCore Properties

ShopCore was looking to create a website that takes the visitor through a journey of their business practices and values. They believe in an approach that is centralized around community building and growth opportunities, inspiring an emphasis on the visual representation of their quantifiable metrics. With that said, accessibility was top of mind during the entire planning, design, and development process to ensure that all users could navigate with ease through ShopCore’s messaging and property listings.

ShopCore Properties site show on a desktop, laptop, and mobile phone

“We appreciate Rule29 going beyond the ask, as always. While collaborating on our new corporate website build, we quickly realized the importance of incorporating accessibility into each of our practices. ADA Compliance was a new focus for us, understanding that accessibility covers a wide variety of areas like text design, hyperlinks, color contrast, navigation, alt text, and written transcriptions. The team at Rule29 provided thorough guidance and education throughout the entire process and continuously enlightened us on how crucial it is to acknowledge the diverse ways users access our information and services.

Being recognized as a winner in the Accessibility category of the Web Excellence Awards at the beginning of the year reaffirms our dedication to providing an inclusive online experience for everyone, regardless of their abilities, and we would not have achieved that without our partnership with Rule29. By making accessibility a top priority, we furthered our company’s emphasis on DEI by creating a barrier-free environment where equal access is available to all.”

Whitney Sirard
Digital Creative Manager, ShopCore Properties


Need help making your website compliant? Connect with Rule29 today.

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