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ADA Compliance

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law 30 years ago and prevents discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life including jobs, schools, and transportation. Along with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA ensures that the rights of individuals with disabilities are protected under the law, including while they are accessing the internet. In 2019, there were 2,256 ADA website-accessibility lawsuits filed in federal courts by attorneys representing individuals and classes of people with disabilities. 

How can you know if your website meets the compliance standards set forth by the ADA for people with disabilities? The United States Government adopted the accessibility standards called the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. This act outlines standards for the accessibility of information technology, including the internet.

Does ADA compliance refer to my business?

ADA compliance applies to the following businesses:

  • State government agencies
  • Local government agencies
  • Private employers with 15 or more employees
  • Companies operating for the benefit of the general public

Even if your company doesn’t fall within the parameters set by the Americans with Disabilities Act, it’s still important for your website to meet the standards of the ADA because you want to make your site accessible to all individuals. By making your website ADA compliant, you give yourself the opportunity to meet the needs of all consumers, practice equality, and generate more leads for your business. There are now tools and plugins that can help ensure that your website is accessible to people with disabilities by testing to see if it’s free from accessibility issues.

What happens if my website isn’t ADA compliant?

Facebook, Dominos, Uber, and Winn Dixie, to name a few, are major corporations that have been sued for not having a website compliant with the standards outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. If your website fails to meet ADA standards, then you run the risk of being sued, having to pay court fees, and being forced to pay fines. Federally funded organizations can lose money and fines can be anywhere between $55,000-$150,000 depending on the number of offenses.

It’s possible that your business can afford to pay those fines, but the bad press from the lawsuit can damage your business’ branding. You don’t want to be known as the business that doesn’t care about people with disabilities, and this will negatively affect whether or not people use your business’ products or services. Because accessibility issues are prevalent on unchecked websites, it may be in the best interest of your business to order a web accessibility evaluation.

How can I check if my website is ADA compliant?

There is more than one way to determine if your website is ADA compliant. Check the following options to determine which method is right for your business.

3 Ways to Make Your Website ADA Compliant

  • Use Free ADA Compliance Checkers
  • Hire an Agency for a Professional Evaluation
  • Self-Audit

How to Self-Audit Your Websites for ADA Compliance

Do you meet the standards below?


  • Text Contrast: There’s at least a 4.5:1 color contrast between text and its background.
  • Text Size: Text can be resized to 200% and still maintain its form.
  • Colored Text: Web page doesn’t rely on color to convey information. Use features like bold, italics, and bulleted lists to differentiate information.
  • Captions: All live and recorded video and audio content has captions.
  • Video and Audio Alternatives: All video and audio content should have text transcripts.
  • Language: The page language is identified in code with any language changes.
  • Alt Text: Every piece of visual information such as icons, buttons, sketches, banners, and photos has alt text.


  • Consistent Page Structure: Navigation, menus, and buttons are in consistent places across all web pages.
  • Visual Control: In a slideshow or video, users can pause or adjust the timing.
  • Colored Text: Web page doesn’t rely on color to convey information. Use features like bold, italics, and bulleted lists to differentiate information.
  • Keyboard Only: Website can be fully accessed with a keyboard or keyboard equivalents only. Users don’t have to rely on a mouse.
  • User Information Input: Pages involving financial transactions, legal forms, or other important information have submissions that are reversible, correctable, and can be reviewed.
  • Triggering Visuals: No strobe effect or flashes of more than 3 times in any one second period.
  • Pause, Stop, and Hide Functions: Web pages with content that blinks or moves can be paused, stopped, or hidden.


  • Headers and Titles: Headers and titles are concise, simple, relevant, and adequately describe the content on the webpage. All site elements should be labeled, such as “contact form.”
  • Instructions: Instructions are provided on how to use the tools of your website.
  • Error Fixes: If a user makes an input error, there is a suggestion on how to solve it.
  • Hierarchical Structure: Website information is presented in a logical and sequential order.
  • Anchor Text: Anchor text is clear in what the link will go to (i.e. avoid “click here”).


  • Compatibility With Assistive Technologies: Website is compatible with screen readers and optimized to work with assistive technologies.
  • Tables: Tables have proper column headers and cell information.
  • Resources: Resources are provided so that all users will have the same access to information on your website.

Free Compliance Checkers

Companies like the Web Accessibility Initiative can check for compliance on your website. These companies look at your website to determine if they are congruent with the ADA standards. The drawback is that these sites can only check one page at a time for accessibility issues. These companies can, however, provide resources about how to make your website ADA compliant for people with disabilities. 

The Web Accessibility Initiative also provides a list of resources and tools your site can use to meet the compliance standards. They also provide education and specific programs for each type of issue you may find on your website. WordPress sites can use a free plug-in to check for ADA compliance as well. 

Here are some additional ADA compliance checkers that we recommend:

ADA Website Compliance Checkers and Solutions for WordPress Sites

Widget Plugin ADA Website Compliance Checkers and Solutions for All Sites

Again, there are many other ADA compliance website checker plugins offered on the W3C site.

Professional Evaluation

Hiring an agency to provide a web accessibility evaluation can be very useful for your business. You’ll save time and energy while ensuring that an experienced agency reviews your website and creates a plan to make sure your site is in compliance. Some agencies may even have the resources to implement the plan for you and provide a full-service experience. You’ll enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that your site will be free from accessibility issues and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

ADA Compliance Website Creation

According to PEW Research Group, more than 75% of individuals with disabilities are using the internet. It’s important for your business to meet all internet users where they are by providing content that is not only valuable but accessible.

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