The ADA Impact on Website Accessibility

Websites exist for people to use them. So shouldn’t they be accessible to as many people as possible?

Most Americans are familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations. We still associate this primarily with store entrances and restrooms – but with so much private and public sector business having moved online, the Web has become the main focus in the campaign for equal access. 

That was the incentive behind the 1998 law known as Section 508, which requires the federal government to make all information technology, including websites, accessible for everyone.

While one would expect states and municipalities to strive for the same goal, they are not always under any legal obligation to do so. But the state of Georgia has decided to not wait for an official directive.

The Website Accessibility Audit

GeorgiaGov Interactive, the organization that oversees all of the state’s websites and publishing platforms, recently completed a comprehensive audit to assess the extent to which Georgians with various disabilities are able to find the information they need online.

The results revealed that there was work to be done.

The redesign has already begun, and includes such actions as:

  • The addition of coding so those with visual impairments can receive audio descriptions of pages through a screen reader
  • Increasing font size on some copy
  • More pronounced color contrasts in design elements
  • Alt tags that offer descriptions of photos, charts and graphs

To date, more than half of Georgia’s 130 state agencies now perform up to the more stringent federal standard.

How Does Your Website Design Measure Up? Find Out With Our ADA Review and Repair Program

360Civic now offers a website review and repair program, that will identify any pervasive accessibility issues on your website, as well as offering recommendations for the best ways to fix them. Find out more

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