Designing for Accessibility Vs.Retrofitting a Website for ADA Conformance

Designing for accessibility is similar to building a store and installing ramps for those wheelchair-bound. It may seem overwhelming to build a website that caters to all these needs, but it will yield success for your website and visitor usability in the long run. Before you begin the website design process, understand the accessibility design guidelines.

  • Choose your colors wisely. If color is the only way you plan to separate important text from the remainder of your text, think again. Those who are color blind or visually impaired will not be able to understand this emphasis. Use colors that match the required contrast ratio of text and background (4.5 to 1) and make sure that the text itself can emphasize its own importance to those using screen readers. Allow your users to change this contrast, so that it suits their needs.
  • Write text for images. Don’t rely on your images or videos to convey your message. Always add captions to describe this information. Another way to present this information is through alternative text. Try to include the words, “image” or “video” to give context to the user listening to the description. Plus, adding alt text to images can be good for SEO.
  • Markup your content. Consider the structure of your content and how it is conveyed. Using heading tags to denote section headings will help screen readers understand the structural hierarchy of the website and is an SEO best practice. It also helps readers of all abilities get a sense of what the page is about quickly. Your content should also be simple and clear. Using bulleted lists to break up your text and a Sans Serif font will help those with dyslexia understand your content better.
Designing for Accessibility Vs.Retrofitting a Website for ADA Conformance