What is a website ADA accessibility statement and what should it include?
A website ADA accessibility statement outlines the steps the website took to make it accommodating to those visitors with disabilities. It presents the level of ADA accessibility that website is targeted to achieve and acknowledges the targets that have not yet been reached. This statement highlights the plan that has been proposed to address any issues.
This statement is an open commitment that informs visitors with disabilities that they are welcome there. It also highlights the website’s goal to make the information contained in it accessible to everyone.
The website ADA accessibility statement is a written commitment to its visitors regarding the steps that have already been taken to make its content accommodating to all. In addition, it is also an acknowledgment of any issues that have not yet been addressed and how the website plans to implement changes.
Components of a Website ADA Accessibility Statement
Ideally, such a statement should include the following four components:
1. Declaration of commitment
The ADA accessibility statement should start off with a paragraph that outlines the website’s commitment to providing accessibility to its content for the widest possible audience, regardless of ability, technology, and other factors. It serves as an introduction to the content that follows.
2. Standards and guidelines
Providing visitors with information about the standards the website strives to uphold and the guidelines it has put into place to support these steps demonstrates its commitment and allows for accountability. Many website developers use technologies developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). An explanation of what is included in these guidelines and standards and how they assist people with disabilities is also excellent information to include here.
3. Acknowledgment of exceptions
Today’s businesses want to include as many potential visitors as possible. This is the primary aim of a website ADA accessibility statement.
Sometimes, however, it is simply not possible to modify every area or component of a website in order to meet its accessibility goals. Acknowledging this fact and outlining the steps for resolving the issue is necessary for the website’s transparency and integrity.
4. Contact Information
Providing contact information so any visitors who experience a problem or issue can report it is an important element of accountability. Reiterating the fact that the website is dedicated to providing an ADA accessible website and including an email address to the employee who oversees this task is a simple and direct solution.
In addition to the possible legal implications of not have an ADA accessible website, a business without one stands to lose access to a significant consumer sector. Those with disabilities, as well as people who support their right to accessibility, could take their business elsewhere and alert others to their inability to access information.
Build-in ADA accessibility as part of the website’s design. Doing so helps ensure continuity and a comprehensive approach. Regularly updating a website ADA accessibility statement keeps visitors aware of the latest measures that have been taken to ensure inclusivity and compliance.