Monday, October 16, 2017

Is Your Website up to ADA Standards or Is it A Lawsuit Waiting to Happen?

Our daughter went to college to learn how to do web design and media development.  She's now working at a company doing that type of work.  She mentioned that they have to be careful about ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards for design.  Otherwise, they could be sued.

I said, 'what is that?' and 'what time dimension are you from?'  I NEVER heard of being sued because of a website's design.

As it turns out, it can happen.  If your website doesn't meet the Americans with Disabilities Act, it could potentially be the subject of a lawsuit.

So what does that mean?  Check out this article:  Looming ADA rules could affect millions of websites.

Here are also some more articles related to this topic:
Judges Handling ADA Lawsuits Over Websites Not Waiting On DOJ Regulations
Is Your Site ADA-Compliant ... or a Lawsuit-in-Waiting?  (this one tells even more)

If your website is difficult to read or if a blind person's reader can't figure out what a picture stands for or what's in a video, you could be sued.  It usually happens with large businesses, but it's possible for it to happen to any website.

You can check to see if your text is readable at this site:  https://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/. You enter the hex background and foreground colors, and see if they work or not.

I've been working on my websites, and it's frustrating, at least.  Needless to say, this is going to be a huge undertaking for any website owner.

I can see where this might include a slippery slope to social media.  My daughter said the original bill didn't include social media, but if it's on the Internet, I can see where someone could take it on.

To be honest, I've seen things on social media that could potentially give someone seizures (check the seizure part here, under part J: Section 508 Checklist.)  Gifs that flash a lot are just annoying.  According to that Section 508:

508 STANDARDPASSFAIL
(j) Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.No element on the page flashes at a rate of 2 to 55 cycles per second, thus reducing the risk of optically-induced seizures.One or more elements on the page flicker at a rate of 2 to 55 cycles per second, increasing the risk of optically-induced seizures.

Some of the memes really need to have the colors checked (see this page:  WebAIM: Color Contrast Checker).  For example, dark gray on black isn't good for anyone to try to read.  Putting text over a picture isn't good without a solid background color to make it more readable.

Protect yourself and see if you can fix some of these things.  Even if you work with a CMS (content management system) like WordPress, Wix, or Weebly, it's good to check to see if your website is compliant.

Good luck.
SweetTale Books


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