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Even though it is mandatory to have an ADA-compliant website, many city websites seem to have a rather difficult time implementing the best practices to aid disabled people to access the content. So, if you are thinking about your next municipal website design or what to look for when building a website for a local government, this article is for you. Up next, our team shared with you their insights on how to make a website ADA compliant starting today.
First of all: What is ADA compliance?
ADA compliance refers to making a service or product accessible to people with disabilities. The ADA Act offers indications and standards so that any organization or business knows how to make a service or product ADA compliant. Overall, the most popular guidelines available are the ones related to web content accessibility, that have the purpose of:
How to make an ADA compliant website for a local government
Use a user-friendly municipal website design
The first thing you need to take into account is the user experience on your website. The purpose if to offer access to a clean and straightforward navigation website structure. This will allow anyone to access the site without any hassle or problem. As an example, an ADA compliant municipal website won’t have a homepage filled with a bundle of data about the city’s history. Instead, it is highly recommended to offer precise information about the latest news, along with links to the essential services one might look for.
Optimize your content for keyboard navigation
When customizing your website, you should keep in mind that many disabled people are not able to access your content via clicks with a mouse. Hence, they rely on a keyboard to navigate the website, which is why you should consider implementing a `skip navigation` link for fast access to essential information.
Include alt texts
Each image you upload to your website offers you the possibility to include an alternative text. This alt text is meant to allow people with disabilities such as blindness or visual impairment to understand what the picture is about. So, a sure way to make a website ADA compliant is to add a description for every visual component featured on our website.
Include additional methods to access video or audio content
An ADA compliant municipal website needs to have several tools to understand the content, especially when it comes to video or audio. If someone can’t see a video or can’t hear the sound, you will have to make sure he or she has access to the information. And you can do this by including captions in your videos, transcripts, or audio files.
Accommodate the use of assistive tech
Well, every local government website needs to consider the fact that most disabled people use assistive tech for help. Some of these include screen readers, optical character recognition software, or voice recognition tools. Hence, your municipal website design should have all these aspects into consideration for the best user experience.