What's the deal with ADA Website Compliance?

Eric Rohrback

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I really, really want off this planet.
A little extreme, but I understand the feeling. As privacy regulation takes off in the US (and not just Europe), I can see ADA compliance not too far behind. There are law firms dedicated to ADA compliance cases, but they only tend to go after much larger companies.

Will someone sue SMBs around ADA compliance? Probably not. Could it happen to anyone? Sure. Just need to do the basics that so many developers are forgetting when they ship their sites to clients.

Embrace it. Charge for it. Promote what you're doing is great for everyone. Be a marketer and spin it to a positive light so you can make a few bucks off it :) That way it feels like a benefit for everyone involved lol.
 

djbaxter

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A couple of other plugins to look at - both allow you to hide the toolbar/icon for mobile devices (is that a good thing or not?):



Update:

I personally didn't like either of these. Sticking with Accessibly and deactivating BIALTY - see my update above at What's the deal with ADA Website Compliance? - Local Search Forum
 

mikepcservice

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Jun 6, 2018
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I cleared the cache on the site on my desktop, the circular icon on my screen is still not there, seems disabling the app also affects the website on a desktop.
 

mikepcservice

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No something's up, it just doesn't work on my end when the App is disabled. Checked on my Mac in Safari and in Chrome on my windows pc. I even reinstalled Accessibly.
 

mikepcservice

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I just tried on another one my sites and same deal. This time I installed and activated it and did nothing, went to the site. The attached is the screen I am seeing.

Can you confirm if you did the exact same thing and if you installed exactly as I am doing please? I go to Plugins then Add new then search for Accessibly, install and activate.

Screen Shot 2019-12-13 at 12.54.12 PM.png
 

Amanda Putney

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Dec 19, 2018
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At our agency, I partner with our senior dev for accessibility both internally and clientside. For clients, we aren't doing development for we ensure it is brought to their attention. It is about being a good partner with them.

During our research into tools, we found automated accessibility tools only cover approximately ~30% of the requirements. Manual testing is required to identify the rest. Of the automated tools, I am partial to Deque's tools. Their free axe extension is great for single pages and walks you through the manual checks. Microsoft also partnered with Deque for their tool, as well.

Embrace it. Charge for it. Promote what you're doing is great for everyone. Be a marketer and spin it to a positive light so you can make a few bucks off it That way it feels like a benefit for everyone involved lol.
I can't agree more! We position WCAG compliance this way to our clients. I pair with our senior dev on accessibility education and compliance for our agency. One client had a DOJ case decided against their parent company. Another client in Ontario, Canada, must comply with AODA.

Ontario's government included the cost of non-compliance for companies. In America, the DOJ has consistently ruled the ADA covers websites, which came out in the 90s.

Additionally, WCAG covers a host of impairments. Real-life example, I have a friend with a childhood injury, leaving him with pronounced tremors in both arms. He uses the keyboard to navigate sites when they support it. Without accessible design, he wouldn't be able to browse the internet.

Below are my frustrations about the recurring nature and general industry sentiment around the topic.

<rant>
Arguing about having to do accessibility is the most ableist thing I consistently read when this is brought up in our industry. Somehow we forget we are talking about people. If you need $$ as a motivator, we are talking approximately $21million in buying power you are ignoring because you can't be bothered.

Step back and ask, would this stance would bar a person from accessing or ordering from my or my client's site? Then you need to make changes to become compliant. It is no different than a business having stairs and needing to put in a wheelchair ramp. It is precisely the same, just in a different medium.
</rant>
 

mikepcservice

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Thanks. Regarding the images, would we need to fill out the caption and description fields too in addition to the title and Alt?
 

mikepcservice

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What about video on your page, are we required to have speech to text functionality?

Also for ecommerce sites, I guess the Bialty should handle all of their "existing" tons of images?
 

djbaxter

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What about video on your page, are we required to have speech to text functionality?
I don't know. I think maybe a tag or line before or below the video that clearly says it's a video mught be sufficient but I really don't know what the ADA states in that regard. Presumably captions wouldn't be a lot of help to blind visitors. What some sites do is offer a computer generated transcript of the audio part of the video but in most cases I don't know that that is particularly helpful.

Also for ecommerce sites, I guess the Bialty should handle all of their "existing" tons of images?
I think so. I will test that out on an ecommerce site I manage when I get time (doing a complicated server migration right now).
 

djbaxter

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Just came across this:

Pro Tip: Making images accessible to screen readers doesn’t need to be hard
by Carie Fisher, Search Engine Land
Dec 20, 2019

Images and icons on a website can add to a visitor’s contextual experience. They serve one of three purposes: purely decorative, actionable (ex. magnifying glass on a search field), or to convey information (i.e., a chart demonstrating population growth).

Using alt image tags may seem relatively simple at first glance. However, images can be highly problematic for blind and visually impaired people who often rely on screen reader technologies to audibly playback screen content. When a photo or icon lacks a meaningful alternate text – known as “alt text” – the screen reader may read out “image623.jpg” (or another equally unhelpful file name). Even an alt text like “chart showing U.S. population growth – 2015 to 2019” fails to describe the results of the chart for someone who can not actually see the graphic. Either situation could be frustrating to blind and visually impaired people, but such scenarios are common.

The use of clear, easy to understand alt text is pretty straightforward. Most content management systems provide an alt text field as part of the image placement or editor tool. Images that are purely decorative should be marked with null (empty) alt text (alt=””) in order for them to be ignored by screen readers. However, in cases where images are used to explain information, alt text must go beyond describing what an image is and actually convey its content. For example, a better alt text for a chart image would be “chart showing 5 percent U.S. population growth between 2015 and 2019.”

Using clear, easy to understand alt text will boost your site’s accessibility for screen readers. And alt text – when applied correctly – is also an opportunity to improve your SEO. However, overdoing keywords in alt text can be perceived by search engines as keyword stuffing, not to mention annoying to people using screen readers. If your keywords don’t fit and flow naturally into your alt text, it may be time to re-evaluate your keywords or your chosen images or icons.
Read more...
 

mikepcservice

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What I am deducing from this is that you need a short description of the image in the alt field with your keyword in it?
 

djbaxter

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It's not so much about the keyword. It's about a reasonable description of the image for screen readers.

That said, sparing use of keywords can't hurt and may help (a bit):

 

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