Avoiding Overwhelm: the Path to ADA Accessibility on the Web

ADA accessibility compliance
26 Apr 2020

When the American Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990, it referred to accessibility in mostly physical terms – requiring ramps where only stairs had been, widening doorways to accommodate wheelchairs, providing materials in Braille for people with sight impairment, and so on. The focus at the time was on government and commercial facilities – that is, public places. 

30 years later, the internet exists as both a deeply private place where people correspond and connect, as well as the most public of all places — where a person with connectivity can access information, goods, and services from anywhere at any time. Accessibility for the internet has emerged with the rise of the internet – and so brings with it a new lens on what we mean when we talk about accessibility.

ADA website accessibility ensures that people with disabilities can access your company’s information online without experiencing barriers to entry that inhibit or exclude them — whether it’s imagery without alternative text, difficult-to-navigate links, pages with overwhelming or disruptive animation, and so on.

As a website owner, ensuring ADA accessibility can feel overwhelming. 

How can you tell if your site is inaccessible? 

What do you do if it is? 

The process to make your website ADA accessible doesn’t have to be overwhelming. 

Read on to understand what you need to know:


Do You Have Alternate Graphics Text?

An image is worth a thousand words. Well, that’s true unless your website visitors cannot see your images. People with vision impairment have the same need to experience your website information as people without vision impairment. If you don’t have alternate text for your images, your site is not accessible.

By implementing the TruAbilities ADA widget on your website, you can immediately make imagery accessible to people with vision impairment thanks to TruAbilities patent-pending artificial intelligence / machine learning capabilities, which identify imagery and automatically generate alternate text descriptions. 

The Generate Alts and Images List options are both instrumental in making website imagery ADA accessible, whereas Hide Images can be crucial to reducing overwhelm for certain users.


Navigating Content

Headings like the one above don’t just summarize ideas, they also convey the hierarchy of information to your website visitors. 

Proper use of H1, H2, and H3 tags can ensure that web accessibility software, like screen readers, can navigate the page properly. People with cognitive disabilities can also rely on this type of metadata to interpret and experience website content. 

With the TruAbilities widget, Page Structure reveals headers as a shortcut to understanding where the key content sits on site pages. 

Page Read is another helpful feature, as it takes text on the page and reads aloud.

Want to change the appearance? Text Property allows the user to take total control of text size, fonts, spacing, and more.


The Challenge with Colors

When it comes to color choice, your site’s designer probably chose a font color, section colors, and other related elements to support and tie into your brand. While every brand is free to establish their own visual identity, accessibility on the web means that users should be able to modify their personal experience with colors as they want and need.

With the TruAbilities widget, site visitors can set their browsing experience to Grayscale, or can even invert colors on the page. Additionally, the Color options allows users to set their own color preferences for Text, Title and Background.


Additional Functionality 

The purpose of the TruAbilities ADA widget is to take the guesswork out of making your website accessible. With a robust feature set, installation is quick and effective – even for turnkey web platforms such as WordPress and Squarespace.

Additional functionality includes:

  • Cursor magnifier: While some visitors will benefit from keyboard-based navigation and interaction, others prefer to use a mouse, but have difficulty seeing small cursors. An expanded cursor function allows them to see the cursor even against very content-heavy pages, ensuring easier navigation for everyone.
  • Reading Line: When this feature is activated, a line appears horizontally across the screen to indicate the cursor’s position on the page. Reading Line is an assistive device the allows the visitor to more easily track where their cursor is on the screen.
  • Stop Animation: Motion on web pages – whether looping video or animated illustrations – can be overwhelming for people with sensory processing disorders. One click resolves this for visitors who wish to pause all motion on the page.


Try Our Powerful Website Accessibility Solution

ADA website accessibility can seem daunting, but with the right accessibility products and software, it does not have to be overwhelming. In fact, it can be far simpler than you might think. At TruAbilities, we have developed a powerful solution that is simple to install and immediately effective.

A single line of code added to your website enables access to accessibility tools and features that empower visitors with disabilities to access your content and transact with you online. Start your free 14-day trial today.