Don’t Be an Easy Target: Why ADA Compliance is Vital for Business Websites

Running a business in the digital age comes with a set of responsibilities that go beyond attracting customers and generating revenue. It also requires businesses to prioritize accessibility and ensure their websites comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ADA compliance not only enables customers with disabilities to access your business but also safeguards you from potential lawsuits. In this article, we will explore the importance of ADA compliance for your business websites and provide valuable tips on how to ensure compliance, implement accessibility solutions, and promote digital inclusion. Doing so can enhance your online presence, improve customer satisfaction, and protect your business from legal consequences.

What Does ADA Compliance Mean for My Website?

ADA compliance refers to conforming to the guidelines set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which aims to ensure equal access and non-discrimination for individuals with disabilities. When it comes to websites, ADA compliance means creating an inclusive online environment that allows people with diverse disabilities to navigate, interact, and access information effectively.

Why Should My Website Be ADA-Compliant?

It’s a Legal Issue:

Ensuring ADA compliance for your website is a moral and legal obligation. Failure to comply with ADA regulations can result in costly lawsuits, legal penalties, and reputational damage. Serial plaintiffs actively browse the internet, seeking out ADA violations, and businesses across various sectors have faced lawsuits for inaccessible websites.

It Increases Your Audience:

ADA compliance extends your reach to a broader audience. By making your website accessible, you create an inclusive online experience that accommodates individuals with disabilities. This can significantly expand your customer base and attract new users who value businesses that prioritize accessibility.

ADA Compliance Builds Your Brand:

Being ADA-compliant demonstrates your commitment to inclusivity, accessibility, and social responsibility. By providing an accessible website, you enhance your brand reputation and differentiate yourself from competitors. Customers appreciate businesses prioritizing equal access and are more likely to trust and support them.

ADA Compliance Can Help SEO:

ADA compliance and search engine optimization (SEO) go hand in hand. Many accessibility practices align with SEO best practices, such as using descriptive headings and alternative image text. Implementing ADA compliance measures improves your website’s overall quality and user experience, positively impacting your search engine rankings.

What Part Does WCAG 2.1 Play in ADA Compliance?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 are internationally recognized guidelines that provide standards for creating accessible websites. WCAG 2.1 is a reference point providing comprehensive guidelines for ADA compliance. It encompasses different levels of compliance and focuses on specific areas such as content, design, and the entire website.

Accessibility Guidelines for Websites to Achieve ADA Compliance:

To achieve ADA compliance for your website, follow the WCAG 2.1 guidelines. These guidelines are organized around four principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. Let’s explore these principles in more detail:

  • Ensuring users can navigate and interact with your website without relying on a mouse.
  • Ensure that interactive elements like buttons and links are easy to locate and activate.
  • Use clear and straightforward language to communicate your content effectively.
  • Ensure that form fields and instructions are easy to understand and complete.
  • Provide assistance or error prevention mechanisms to help users avoid mistakes or incorrect inputs.


  • Build your website using web technologies compatible with current and future assistive technologies.
  • Regularly test your website for compatibility with different browsers, devices, and assistive technologies

Is ADA Compliance Mandatory for My Website?

Yes, ADA compliance is mandatory for your website. The ADA applies to businesses considered places of public accommodation, and in the digital era, websites are regarded as extensions of physical locations. Therefore, companies are legally required to ensure their websites are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Benefits of ADA Compliance:

Increased Accessibility:

ADA compliance opens up your website to a broader audience, including individuals with disabilities. By removing barriers to access, you create a welcoming and inclusive online environment.

Improved Customer Satisfaction:

When your website is accessible and user-friendly, it enhances the overall experience for all users, regardless of their abilities. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and increases the likelihood of repeat visits and positive word-of-mouth.

Good Public Relations:

Demonstrating a commitment to accessibility and inclusivity through ADA compliance builds a positive brand image. Customers appreciate businesses prioritizing equal access and are more likely to support and recommend them.

Consequences of Not Being ADA Compliant:

Failure to comply with ADA regulations can have severe consequences for your business. Serial plaintiffs search for ADA violations online, targeting businesses across various sectors. Non-compliance can result in expensive lawsuits, legal penalties, and damage to your reputation and brand.

Tips for Avoiding ADA Non-Compliance:

To avoid ADA non-compliance and ensure that your website meets accessibility standards, consider the following tips:

  1. Scan through the WCAG guidelines, at least the subheadings, to familiarize yourself with the requirements.
  2. Add descriptive HTML tags to your online forms to provide clear instructions and improve accessibility.
  3. Use descriptive anchor text for hyperlinks to make navigation intuitive for all users.
  4. Add descriptive image alt text to all images on your website, enabling individuals with visual impairments to understand the content.
  5. Include a “skip navigation” link on all web pages, allowing users to bypass repetitive navigation elements and access the main content directly.
  6. Use proper heading tags (H1, H2, H3) to improve the readability and structure of your web content.
  7. Consider installing a simple accessibility widget on your site, which allows you to adjust certain website elements, such as cursor size or contrast.

Best Practices for ADA Compliance:

Achieving ADA compliance requires a comprehensive approach. Here are some best practices to ensure long-term compliance:

Accessible Design & Content:

  • Use color combinations that provide sufficient contrast for readability.
  • Provide clear and concise instructions for form fields and user interactions.
  • Ensure resizable text and scalable graphics for users who require larger text or magnification.

User Testing & Feedback:

  • Conduct regular accessibility audits and user testing to identify and address any accessibility issues.
  • Encourage users to provide feedback on accessibility barriers and take prompt action to resolve them.

Training & Support:

  • Train your web development and content teams on ADA compliance guidelines and best practices.
  • Provide ongoing support and resources to ensure accessibility remains a priority during website updates and content creation.

ADA compliance is a legal requirement and an opportunity to create an inclusive online environment for all users. By prioritizing accessibility solutions and compliance measures, businesses can improve digital inclusion, enhance customer satisfaction, and build a positive brand reputation. Failure to comply with ADA regulations can lead to legal consequences and reputational damage. By following best practices and implementing the tips in this article, you can ensure that your business websites are ADA-compliant and accessible. Let’s strive for equal access and embrace the power of digital inclusion.