With the holiday season around the corner and the pandemic still not subsided, web accessibility is more important than ever as customers around the globe resort to online shopping. ADA compliant Drupal Commerce stores, businesses can get ahead of the regulatory curve by avoiding any potential US lawsuits and also thrive with better search engine rankings and higher sales.
Need for Drupal Accessibility Standards
Businesses in the real-world have been making their workplaces inclusive by providing wheelchair ramps, accessible parking areas, signboards, and restrooms. As more and more businesses are going digital, it’s imperative to make the web an inclusive space. Accessibility aspects do not pertain to only visibility but also include auditory, neurological, cognitive, issues. Businesses need to create solutions that end the hindrances irrespective of the physical and cognitive capabilities of people. However, not all platforms have the capacity to break down the barriers and make the web accessible to everyone. To ensure that people with accessibility issues have also equal and inclusive access to ecommerce websites, some platforms like Drupal have incorporated certain guidelines in order to establish equal accessibility for everyone without any bias. This essentially translates to Drupal powering websites with appropriate text font, font colors, color contrast, assistive technologies, and more to ease the usage.
What are the Drupal ADA accessibility standards?
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is a US law that was passed in 1990 and it prohibits all kinds of discrimination based on disability. While physical accommodations have been specifically underlined by the ADA, it has also broadened the scope with extended guidelines for ensuring web accessibility to all the users. When it comes to e-commerce, it is important for merchants to make sure that their goods and services are accessible to customers with disabilities. If an ecommerce website isn’t accessible to people with limitations, it is a violation of ADA legislation and also turns away millions of potential customers. Hence it was noted that the ecommerce sites also comply with accessibility standards such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) which is sufficient for websites to meet ADA standards.
How do I know if my Drupal Commerce store is ADA compliant?
The key to ensure Drupal Commerce ADA compliance is to consult accessibility specialists who not only conduct a comprehensive WCAG audit but also provide you the remediation measures. With an upswing in the lawsuits against the businesses that do not comply with ADA guidelines, many business clients are explicitly asking for the ADA audit. ADA audit helps you to compile the accessibility score of your website. With a sophisticated audit, one can redesign the websites to meet the ADA compliance requirements and this is also a prudent measure so that the merchants may not worry about any future shocks. One can leverage a suite of Drupal’s tools and modules to measure the accessibility score. Based on the audit results, you can play around with Drupal’s tools to enable the features and redesign the pages to improve the web accessibility aspects.
Drupal Store ADA Compliant Features
There is no silver bullet to build ADA compliant ecommerce stores. You need to pick the right platform Drupal makes it easy to have the accessibility features on your website. The checkout process, form fields (shipping address, payment information, etc.), color schemes, alt text for product images, are built to make the web store available for people with inherent and temporary disabilities.
Drupal along with several contributed modules contribute greatly to Drupal web accessibility.
Aural Alerts - Usually, the page updates are shown visually through color changes or animations. However, Drupal has a method called announce which helps in making page updates in a non-visual way for the sake of visually-impaired users. This creates an ARIA element on the page which lets the users know of any update alerts on the site. Drupal 8 has extensive support of ARIA attributes in HTML which provides additional contextual information to assist people with disabilities. For instance, consider the Drupal Commerce store with a shopping cart where the total price gets updated as we add/remove the items in/from the cart. Drupal 8 comes with an ‘announce’ feature that causes the screen readers to announce the updated price to the customers who can’t see the field.
Alt Tag - It is an image attribute with an alternative text for those users having visual impairment and can’t see images. Drupal 8 has alt tags by default and it shouldn’t be changed in the configuration settings. This is beneficial for visually impaired users who rely on screen readers to read aloud the text on the ecommerce websites.
Semantic HTML - Semantic HTML elements are built by default into the Drupal 8 templates. Earlier, HTML elements like div and span were used which cause poor accessibility. But now HTML 5 has introduced many elements that provide semantic information to the aural users.
Ubiquitous Fonts - Drupal Commerce stores ensure a font that appears clearly and legibly on Macs, PCs, mobiles, and other devices, People can hence read the product description and options without any difficulty. Some less popular forms like Comic Sans is also supported even though it has been the butt of many jokes due to its ability to support dyslexia users.
Keyboard and Mobile Access - Drupal Commerce websites comply with various keyword formats, from traditional to Bluetooth. This is bliss for people with muscular dystrophies or other disabilities. You can test if the user can navigate with ease and make the purchase. CKEditor Accessibility Checker - This Drupal module enables the accessibility plugin that inspects the level of accessibility of the content created on your store and fixes any issues that are uncovered.
Benefits of ADA Compliant Drupal Commerce store:
Avoid Major Lawsuits - The cost of violating or not complying with ADA guidelines are commercial, legal, and ethical. By adhering to the web accessibility standards, you can avoid legal penalties and also earn goodwill in the market for your efforts in making the web an inclusive place.
Better Customer Experience - With all the features that are easy on the eye, seamless navigation, frictionless browsing, one can have an enhanced user experience. Web visitors can easily find the products they been looking for. They can have real-time experience.
SEO Optimized - Accessibility also optimizes the website for search engine rankings which directly drives organic traffic to your store.
Wider Audience Reach - The more accessible your website, the more web visitors becoming your prospective leads. If your website has poor accessibility, chances are high that the website visitor may find it difficult to navigate and use your store and hence they would drop-off.
Usability - Drupal supports more than one search feature option like an onscreen keyboard, physical keyboard as per user convenience. This way the users can quickly look up information and access it improving the usability of your Drupal Commerce store.
Brand Reputation - Your efforts to build inclusive spaces would improve your brand reputation and brand recognition in the market.
ADA compliant Drupal Commerce Stores improve your business outlook and also widens your reach. You can build a satisfied and loyal customer base. Optimizing your ecommerce store for accessibility is not just about making the right business move but also reflects your civic conscience. Furthermore, with a surge in legal actions against businesses that have violated ADA guidelines, businesses are making it a point to build accessible ecommerce stores. You can reach out to our professional Drupal experts to build an accessible Drupal commerce store that provides an enhanced customer experience to all. Get started today!
We are a full-service provider of ADA Compliant Website Design, Accessibility Web Development, ADA Compliance Audit, ADA Compliance Mobile App and other ADA Compliance Services. We can make Drupal Website, Drupal Commerce store or Mobile app an ADA Compliant.