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ADA Compliance Checklist for Websites

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Have you come across unsettling tales or reports of websites facing lawsuits due to non-ADA compliance? Are you pondering whether your website could be the next target and what implications that might entail? Allow us to provide a brief overview of what ADA compliance entails.

In the most basic terms, an ADA-compliant website signifies:
Your website ensures equitable and meaningful access, facilitating effective communication for ALL users. Failure to make your website accessible may result in potential discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
ADA compliance is intricate and can be challenging to grasp. Websites are expected to adhere to the WCAG 2.1 AA technical standards, which can be overwhelming to interpret. To assist you in managing this complex endeavor, we’ve compiled a concise checklist. For a more comprehensive understanding, you can explore our detailed ADA compliance article or enlist the assistance of Hostrings.


ADA Compliant Website Checklist:

  • Website is entirely navigable with a keyboard, including focus indicator
  • The top of each website page has a “Skip Navigation” option
  • All links have description information
  • Buttons and other call-to-actions are purposeful and contain an ARIA label (not just “Click Here”)
  • All photos have an “alt” tag describing them, and text embedded on images is described in alt tags, or not used at all
  • Content is presented in a meaningful order with descriptive titles consistently
  • Online forms incorporate descriptive HTML tags for controls, buttons, and fields, ensuring that any invalid form input is prominently displayed for the user.
  • HTML Tables have headers, cell information, and row identifiers
  • Video files have audio descriptions
  • Video files have captions or written display
  • Any PDF’s are also available as HTML or rich text format
  • Are colors all at a 4:5:1 contrast ratio of text and background. Color-blind users can navigate the site.
  • Text on the page can be resized to 200% successfully
  • A written policy on accessibility is available

Who falls under the protection of the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Various types of disabilities are relevant to compliance considerations. Here are a few examples:

  • Individuals with low vision or blindness
  • Individuals with limited movement due to neurological reasons (Parkinson’s, etc.)
  • Individuals with deafness or hearing impairments

Here are some key requirements for ADA Compliance:

Keyboard Navigation:

Efficient keyboard navigation is a fundamental aspect of ADA compliance. Users should be able to navigate your entire website seamlessly using the tab and enter keys. Utilizing the “Focus” feature to indicate their position on the screen and offering the option to “skip” to the footer, menu, or main contents enhances accessibility.

Descriptive Photos, Links & Buttons:

This feature is crucial for screen reader users, as it significantly contributes to the overall comprehension of a website. If a photo lacks a descriptive caption, users miss out on valuable information. Proper coding of links is essential to guide users with disabilities to the intended destination. Instead of generic labels like “Click here,” opt for descriptive text such as “Services Overview” or “About Our Team.” The same principle applies to tables—ensuring proper labeling enables screen reader users to understand and navigate tables without visual cues.

Color Contrast:

Color contrast is essential not only for individuals with visual impairments but also for those with color blindness. Approximately 1 in 12 men are believed to have some form of color blindness. It’s crucial to design your site with colors that are accessible to individuals with color blindness. Without the appropriate contrast ratio of 4:5:1 for users with low vision, navigation and readability may be compromised.


Individuals with low vision often utilize the “zoom” feature in web browsers to magnify content on your website. It is advisable to ensure that your site functions seamlessly at a 200% zoom to accommodate these users effectively.

How Can I Enforce ADA Compliance on My Website?

We trust that our checklist provided above, along with our comprehensive article, can guide you in implementing solutions for improved usability. While this checklist and article may not cover every aspect of what is or could be required for ADA compliance, they serve as a starting point to set your site on the path to compliance. It is crucial to make efforts to implement what you can rather than disregarding the issue. Settlements in ADA cases can range from $3,000 to over $25,000 or more, making it a matter that should not be overlooked.

Is there a checklist for ADA compliance features for my website?

Yes, we provide a comprehensive ADA compliance checklist to help you ensure your website meets the necessary standards.

Is there an official way to confirm my business website doesn’t need to be ADA compliant?

No official exemption exists for all business websites. However, specific criteria may apply, and it’s advisable to assess your situation with our experts.

What is the difference between Section 504 and Section 508 of the ADA?

Section 504 applies to federally funded programs, while Section 508 pertains specifically to electronic and information technology accessibility standards.

How can I analyze my site to make sure it’s ADA compliant?

We offer professional ADA compliance audits to thoroughly analyze your site and identify areas that need improvement.

What are the next steps to make my site ADA compliant and lower my chance of getting sued?

Our experts can guide you through the process, offering tailored solutions to make your site ADA compliant and reduce the risk of legal issues.

Need professional help to avoid costly ADA compliance lawsuits?

Yes, seeking professional assistance is crucial to navigating ADA compliance requirements and minimizing the risk of lawsuits.

What is the difference between A and AA rating?

The A and AA ratings refer to different levels of compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). AA is a higher standard, indicating a more comprehensive level of accessibility.

What are the major changes from WCAG 2.0 to WCAG 2.1?

WCAG 2.1 introduces additional success criteria and improvements, addressing more diverse needs and technologies compared to WCAG 2.0.

Is it okay to not have an ADA compliance website if I provide 24/7 phone support?

While phone support is beneficial, an ADA-compliant website ensures accessibility for all users. It is recommended to have both to cater to a wider audience.

How much time do we have to correct ADA compliance issues on my site before I get sued?

Legal timelines vary, and prompt action is advisable. Seeking professional guidance to rectify ADA compliance issues promptly is crucial to mitigating legal risks.

What are the consequences of not making my website ADA compliant?

Non-compliance may lead to legal action, including lawsuits and fines. It can also result in a negative impact on your brand reputation.

Is there a specific law mandating ADA compliance for websites?

While there isn’t a specific law, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is often applied to ensure accessibility in public accommodations, including websites.

Can automated tools ensure my website's ADA compliance?

Automated tools can help identify potential issues, but a comprehensive ADA compliance audit conducted by professionals is recommended for accurate results.

Are there specific industries more at risk for ADA compliance lawsuits?

No industry is immune, but businesses in sectors such as retail, hospitality, and finance have faced a higher number of ADA-related lawsuits.

What is the cost associated with making my website ADA compliant?

The cost varies based on factors like the size and complexity of your site. Our experts can provide a tailored estimate after assessing your specific needs.

Is ADA compliance only essential for websites with a large audience?

ADA compliance is crucial for all websites, regardless of size. It ensures inclusivity and helps prevent legal complications.

Can I use a template or a website builder to create an ADA-compliant site?

While templates and builders can be a starting point, they may not guarantee full compliance. A professional review is recommended to ensure adherence to ADA standards.

Is there a certification for ADA compliance?

There isn’t an official ADA certification, but you can obtain an accessibility statement to communicate your commitment to compliance.

Avoiding business losses stemming from a subpar or frustrating customer experience on your website is essential.

At Hostrings, we provide comprehensive ADA Compliance Packages tailored to meet the specific needs of your industry. request a free ADA compliance audit today!
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