Font Size: A A A

ADA Compliant Website

Blog » Category »

A Comprehensive Guide on Magento Accessibility & Magento ADA Compliance!
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Date Posted: February 17, 2021
Last Updated: February 17, 2021
Magento Accessibility

Ecommerce retailers are one of the most targeted websites facing ADA legal actions. The number of demand letters and lawsuits on the online merchants hasn’t been subsiding at all. Also, the need to make the web space accessible to people with disabilities is as great as ever. So, you need to be proactive to avoid the legal hassles and costs and also focus on building an inclusive web world.

Purpose of ADA for Magento accessibility

The American Disabilities Act of 1990 lays down the rules to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy and use places of public accommodation equally. The tipping point was when these rules became applicable to websites and mobile apps. Although clear technical guidelines are not laid down, in practice, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) by W3C serve as the de facto standards for digital accessibility. The latest version of the WCAG is 2.1 and comes in three levels - A, AA, AAA. To conform to the ADA rules, your website must meet the WCAG A, AA levels.

We have already mentioned that any website including your Magento ecommerce website, is accessible and ADA compliant if it complies with WCAG guidelines. If there are any violations, you need to remediate and fix them to comply with the ADA.

1. Conduct Magento Website Audit

You need to conduct a comprehensive audit that combines the results of manual, automated, and assistive technology audits. Relying only on the automated audit may not provide you the right picture. To get everything right, you need to focus on the manual as well as assistive technology auditing as well. These will help you focus on all the pages and templates to capture the issues that went uncaught in the automated audit. Professional ADA consultants also provide remediation guidelines for the violated items. They provide quality reporting that greatly reduces the number of false positives and also well-written remedial measures that reduce both cost and time.

2. Remedial Measures

You need to segment your audit results based on the category, severity, or priority. The ussies usually fall under three categories - development, design, and content. Design issues are related to the page structure, color, size, space, and other front-end elements. Content issues are related to image labels, headings structure, and captioning video content. Content remediation is not technical but still is tedious. Development issues include a great deal of HTML, CSS, JavaScript elements. Find the remedial measures for all these and make modifications to make the Magento website ADA compliant. A good team of ADA consultant team would address most of the issues on their own. You can contact experts of both WCAG compliance and Magento.

Magento Solutions

Good news! Magento provides solutions to these accessibility concerns without compromising on the user experience on your website. It comes with many in-built templates, shared modules, global libraries that can resolve most of the issues found in the web pages. You can create a personalized customer journey on your Magento website and also emphasize providing equitable experiences that can be beneficial for all.

Some of the options include aspects that go beyond the screen readers and assistive technologies. Full ADA compliance of your Magento store may require the help of Magento and ADA consultants. Some of the Magento solutions are -

  1. Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) - This is a protocol designed by W3C that employs landmarks to assist browsers in determining where the relevant content goes to properly communicate the right information. It simplifies interactivity by conveying the descriptions of the menu content. Magento is fully equipped with ARIA capabilities. Take the help of the Magento development team if you require assistance integrating it.
  2. Main Navigation - Magento stores come with numerous options and sub-options that rely on dropdown menus and mouse hovers. A sitemap link will be located in the website footer. Magento also comes with a theme that does support dropdown keyboard navigation.
  3. Skip to Content - This is essential for those who use the keyboard to maneuver through the Magento website. It simplifies navigation and provides faster access to the main content, product lists, and product categories. Magento also comes with the theme that comes with the skip to content link.

    These interactions along with adjustments to color contrasts, font sizes, image replacements with text instructions are meant to improve the overall usability of the Magento website and optimize the conversion funnel.

Benefits of Magento ADA Compliance

Making your Magento website accessible has huge economic benefits and also protects your business from potential legal litigations.

  1. Increased Traffic and Conversions - With the help of accessibility widgets and tools, alt text for images, audio, and text descriptions, color contrast adjustments make your site content effective and efficient. This boosts your web traffic and conversions by improving the reach to customers.
  2. Boosts Brand Reputation - By making your Magento websites ADA compliant, your brand reputation will improve and helps you remain competitive in the marketplace. With the ease of navigation and intuitive design, your potential customers find it easy to traverse from one page to another and boost conversion rates.
  3. SEO Optimized - ADA compliant websites are SEO compliant as well. They often rank higher on the search results. This improves your website visibility and improves your customer engagement.

Conclusion

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) and its rules have become extremely crucial in the ecommerce business as organizations also geared up to incorporate the ADA compliance rules in their website development. They are very well aware of the consequences of non-compliance and the benefits of compliance. If you are looking for ADA website accessibility consultants to make your Magento websites ADA compliant, then look nowhere.

Skynet Technologies has a dedicated team of developers who have been strictly adhering to the WCAG and ADA rules. Make your Magento website accessible to everyone including people with varied disabilities through our Magento ADA compliance services. We also offer ADA Compliant Website Design, Accessibility Web Development, ADA Compliance Audit, ADA Compliance Mobile App, and other ADA Compliance Services. We can develop any Magento website, ecommerce website or Magento store or Mobile application an ADA Compliant.

Explore Magento Development Services!

Which type of accessibility standards apply for ADA compliance mobile app?
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Date Posted: November 22, 2020
Last Updated: February 08, 2021
ADA compliance mobile app

Have ever wondered how many new apps are being born every month? How many app downloads are happening all over the world? We have some breathtaking numbers with us! Nearly 100k new Android apps and 30k iOS apps are being released every month and staggeringly more than 200 billion app downloads have happened in just one year! Mobile has become the highest traffic generator today. With this, many digital companies have started to roll-out their apps to improve their digital visibility. These mobile apps need to be user-friendly and accessible by everyone.

As mobile apps are continuously evolving, just like how web accessibility guidelines have been established by various international guidelines, there has been a need for the slow evolution of standards to address mobile app accessibility. To inculcate the principles of inclusion and fairness on the web, mobile accessibility must also be prioritized. People with disabilities and impairments must be able to utilize the benefits of these digital apps and services. It has to be a standard, not an exception. So logically, after web accessibility, the next logical frontier in the pursuit of a more inclusive digital world is mobile.

ADA Compliance for Mobile Apps

As mobile apps became an indispensable part of our everyday lives, US Federal Courts have interpreted the accessibility clause in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as requiring all the mobile apps to be accessible to the disabled without any discrimination. This is imperative considering that nearly more than 50 million people in the US are disabled and depend on apps every day. And despite the stellar stats about mobile apps, not all hadn’t been created in compliance with the accessibility guidelines.

Mobile apps are also covered by the same accessibility standards as that of the web. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which provided guidelines for web accessibility, the same rules are valid for the mobile apps. They have to follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2 standards including multimedia access. Though WCAG doesn’t specify anything about mobile app accessibility, however, the same criteria outlined in WCAG 2 stands relevant in the case of mobile apps as well. The W3C also mentioned the best practices for mobile apps, they are not accessibility specific although they do promote accessibility.

How can you make your mobile apps ADA compliant?

If your mobile apps are not ADA compliant, you could find yourself liable to legal penalties under ADA. Hence, one needs to refocus their design efforts in order to make mobile apps easily navigable. You need to restructure your mobile app by following the accessibility standards namely ADA and WCAG 2.1 guidelines. Before we go further, first conduct a mobile ADA accessibility audit to note down any shortcomings and check where you stand in your accessibility score. There are many accessibility requirements for mobile apps, however, when it comes to ADA compliance, we are presenting here a few elements:

Provide a transcript with multimedia

Many mobile apps come with either audio or video files and how do you think a disabled user will be able to view or hear the multimedia content. Users with visual challenges and hearing disabilities should have a way out of this impediment. They should have an option to use captioning on your video, and a full-text transcript for audio files in order to make your mobile app ADA compliant. When applying captioning, make sure synchronization is happening to avoid unnecessary confusion especially when your app requires quick actions based on the audio commands.

Colors Compliance

Color blindness is one of the most common problems faced by internet users. Nearly 8% of the people face this and this becomes a hindrance while accessing your mobile app. It gets difficult for people to perceive the colors on their apps especially when these colors are in close proximity. For instance, most people suffer from red-green color blindness and if your app uses these two colors, then you need to provide an alternative way to make that accessible to these users. In the majority of the cases, if you could specify what color it is, that itself serves the purpose.

Easy to understand Error Messages

While you are filling out the forms or submitting a form, errors are likely to happen. The error messages are critical here to help the user to understand what went wrong. People with disabilities may find it hard to perceive any onscreen error prompts. So, it is better to make sure you encode your error messages properly so that they would be understood by the screen readers and other assistive technologies to help the users. Also, you need to avoid the common practice of using red color while indicating the error messages as color blind people may have a hard time perceiving the error message. A clear error message can reduce confusion and you can avoid the risk of losing customers.

Other Accessibility technologies

You can take advantage of the accessibility features such as text-to-speech, gesture technologies, haptic feedback offered by iOS and Android platforms. Visual impaired users make us of Talkback in Android and Voiceover in iOS. You can try these and see how your app performs in terms of accessibility. Your developers should be familiar with these technologies and make sure to include them in your strategic plan in order to make your app accessible to all.

You can add these to the web accessibility checklist and make sure you improve your mobile accessibility. You should let your developers know these and find remediation to make your mobile app widely accessible and avoid expensive lawsuits. It might be challenging even for the developers as the regulations are slightly confusing for mobile apps. We recommend an ADA compliance audit to identify the issues, rank them in order of severity, and find remedial measures.

We offer ADA compliance mobile app services, our Mobile App developers can create accessible mobile apps for iOS and Android Platform that are highly functional, robust and accessible for everyone. We also offer ADA Compliant Website Design, Accessibility Web Development, ADA Compliance Audit, and other ADA Compliance Services. We can develop any WordPress website, ecommerce website or online store or mobile app an ADA Compliant.

Why Accessibility and SEO should be a part of your business growth!
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Date Posted: November 20, 2020
Last Updated: November 20, 2020
Accessibility and SEO

Suppose you’re scrolling through a series of blog articles and once you reach the end of the page, you may encounter a text that says “read more”. Once you click through it, you may be directed to a longer list of blog posts. However, if you were a visually impaired person and relying on a screen reader, once you reach the end of the page, you’d be stuck in the endless ‘read more’ loop without further navigation. Instead of such a vague text, had the developer added a “read more blogs” snippet that is more descriptive, your screen reader would perform seamless navigation. However, minor it may seem to you, but for a visually impaired person, it does make all the difference by providing access to meaningful content on your website.

If your visitors find issues with your website such as intricate navigation, poor layouts, concealed call-to-action (CTA), bad web forms, hard-to-read content, etc. chances are high that your visitors abandon your site without coming back ever. This would have a direct impact on your SEO score resulting in a slump in search rankings. Thus, web accessibility offers a path-breaking benefit in the form of higher search rankings that go beyond optimized user experience. Hence, you need to empathize with your target audience and build your site so that it is not just optimized but also accessible to everyone. Website accessibility should thus be one of the important elements of your SEO strategy.

A fine line between Accessibility and SEO

We need to understand that web accessibility practices greatly translate into amazing SEO strategies, however, the vice-versa is not true. That is, not all SEO tactics improve web accessibility. For instance, keyword stuffing in the alt attribute of your image tag works well in terms of SEO, but for a screen reader, this may seem to be nothing but gibberish nullifying your web accessibility strategy. So, the thin line between accessibility aspects and SEO strategy should be carefully curated to pan out the results the way you desired.

Quality Keywords

Keyword stuffing is a common culprit in the proper keyword strategy. It can kill your SEO! Search engines often look for some cues to understand what’s your website is all about. For example, as we talked earlier about stuffing the alt attribute in the image tag, it is not going to improve your search engine rankings in any way. On the contrary, a slump in the search rankings shouldn’t be a surprise. Added to the keyword overloading are the hassles that a screen reader has to face. A quality text providing a proper context to both the screen readers as well as search engines is what is needed. The basic tenets of SEO correspond to accessible web content which should form the foundation stone of your SEO strategy.

Better User Experience

User experience is the ultimate factor that matters the most in SEO. Various factors impact the user experience on your website. A frictionless experience with a simple and easily navigable website structure is a huge bonus to you. The site speed also makes or breaks your user experience. With mobile traffic on the rise, having a great mobile experience is also an added bonus. Proper color contrasts, keyword navigation, descriptive headings, clear language, logical and structured layouts naturally lead to a better user experience even for people with disabilities. And that’s what matters the most for search engines boosting your SEO.

Wider Audience Reach

More than 25% of people in the US are disabled. Hence, making web accessibility an afterthought is actually an ineffectual plan. Web accessibility widens your audience reach by improving your ability to reach more people. Firstly, you are not denying access to people with various disabilities - visual, auditory, neurological, physical, motor, or cognitive ones. Everyone would be able to easily access your website without any hindrances. When your website is accessible, they also get better rankings in the search engines. This is positive reinforcement and it happens in a circular loop. When your website is accessible to a larger audience, it is easy for the search engines too to find your website more relevant, having a knock-on effect on search rankings.

Mobile Accessibility

Mobile traffic has totally eclipsed desktop users today. A huge chunk of traffic has been coming from mobile phones. As more and more content is consumed on handheld devices, mobile accessibility has become a crucial pillar of SEO. Poor mobile accessibility inadvertently hurts your SEO. So make your content flexible and resizable by following WCAG guidelines which reduce the need for third-party assistive technologies. Proper color contrast and font sizes impact the mobile user experience and they are likely to convert. Thus, improved SEO is a positive ramification of mobile accessibility.

Ease of Navigation

With web accessibility measures, one can ensure easier and consistent navigation even across a robust website. Navigation issues shouldn’t be ignored as a person with a disability may feel discriminated against and excluded from web access. Websites should be able to be accessed by keyboard, mouse, or any device for easier access and consumption of website content. There should be a plethora of digital landmarks in the code so that those users who rely on screen readers and other assistive technologies can navigate properly without facing any roadblocks.

Web accessibility entails providing text for non-text content, ensuring that your written content is in a readable format, logical formatting of your webpage content, using headings intentionally, and complying with WCAG standards. These inevitably ease the navigation of the users as they don’t have to rely on the text on the web page all the time.

Conclusion

Don’t get overwhelmed if you’ve never incorporated web accessibility into your SEO strategy. It’s never too late! Plan and prioritize web accessibility. Remember, web accessibility and SEO are overlapping strategies both having a similar scope of improving your user experience and taking you to a wider audience. On the outset, it may seem to be more expensive and daunting requiring web design overhaul, tweaking the layout changes, and rewriting the SEO strategy. However, all it takes is a prudent plan to make minor tweaks, and follow best practices to make your websites more accessible and SEO-friendlier.

When You choose the accessibility option for your website, it becomes universally accessible & it creates a positive user experience that is not only good for your business brand but also SEO. We can make your website ADA Compliant. Our specialized team of website designer ensures a Search engine friendly and user-friendly experience based on browsing patterns of the target audience and business need. Get a Free ADA Compliance Audit!

GET THE BEST ADA COMPLIANCE SERVICE!

What's new in WCAG 2.2 Release and how it impacts 2021 ADA Web Accessibility?
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Date Posted: November 17, 2020
Last Updated: November 17, 2020
ADA Web Accessibility

What is WCAG?

WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It is an international standard for web accessibility developed by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), the standard organization responsible for HTML and CSS standards. The earlier versions of WCAG are 1.0, 2.0, 2.1 and the latest version WCAG 2.2 is set for official release in the summer of 2021. The latest version of WCAG works on top of the earlier version so the criteria of the older version remain along with the newly added success criteria. WCAG 2.2 is backward-compatible and has a total of 59 criteria with 50 from the previous version and 9 newly added.

WCAG 2.2 Checklist

WCAG has three conformance levels - A(lowest), AA (mid-range), and AAA (highest). You should strive to conform to the AA level. If you want to go the extra mile in improving your web accessibility, you may also try to incorporate AAA into your website/app.

WCAG 2.2 has introduced 9 new criteria taking the total AA guidelines to 59.

Guideline 2.4 Navigable

About how to help the users navigate, find the content they are looking for, and determine where they are in their user journey.

2.4.11 Focus Appearance (Minimum) (AA)

Make sure your focus indicator clearly stands out from the background. For the keyboard focus indicators, the following elements hold true:

  • Minimum Area - The focus indication area has got to be greater than/equal to 1 CSS pixel border of the control or a minimum thickness of 8 pixels along the shortest side of the element.
  • Change of Contrast - The focus indicator color change area has a contrast ratio of 3:1 with the unfocused state colors.
  • Adjacent Contrast - The focus indication area has a contrast ratio of 3:1 against all the adjacent colors or has a thickness of a minimum of 2 CSS pixels.
  • Unobscured - The focused item is not entirely concealed by the author-created content.

2.4.12 Focus Appearance (Enhanced) (AAA)

Make sure your focus indicator clearly stands out from the background. For the keyboard focus indicators, the following elements hold true:

  • Minimum Area - The focus indication area has got to be greater than/equal to 2 CSS pixel solid borders around the control.
  • Change of Contrast - The focus indicator color change area has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 with the unfocused state colors.
  • Unobscured - None of the focused items is entirely concealed by the author-created content.

2.4.13 Fixed Reference Points (A)

Ensure your e-publications have page numbers and if there are any printed versions, see that they match with that version as well. This mechanism helps is easy navigation maintaining the flow of content irrespective of the platforms.

Guideline 2.5 Input Modalities

For ease-of-use, while operating the functionality through various inputs other than the keyboard.

2.5.7 Dragging (AA)

Wherever dragging movements are required, you can provide alternatives such as tapping and clicking. This is helpful for people with mobility impairments.

2.5.8 Pointer Target Spacing (AA)

The interactive targets must take up at least 44*44 pixels of space except when:

  • Enlarge - A mechanism is there to change the CSS pixel size of each target, or spacing, so one can have an area of 44*44 CSS pixels that include it but no other targets.
  • Inline - When the target is in a sentence or a text block
  • User-Agent - The target size is controlled by the user agent and not modified by the author
  • Essential - A specific presentation of the target is important to the information being conveyed.

Guideline 3.2 Predictable

Display and operate the webpages in predictable ways.

3.2.6 Findable Help (A)

If the help option is available, make sure it is there consistently, in the same place so it can be easily located. Help option entails human contact details, self-help options, fully automated contact mechanisms.

3.2.7. Hidden Controls (AA)

The control mechanisms like edit buttons should be relevant, persistently visible, and not hidden somewhere. They shouldn’t be difficult to trace until they receive a mouse hover over or focus.

Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance

To help the users avoid and correct mistakes.

3.3.7 Accessible Authentication (A)

If there is a cognitive test in the authentication process, there needs to be an alternative way to authenticate that doesn’t rely on the cognitive function tests.

3.3.8 Redundant Entry (A)

While filling out a form, there need to be auto-populated or selection options that prompt the previously entered information. Password confirmation or abandoned forms are exceptions.

Impact of WCAG 2.2

Though WCAG 2.1 has a comprehensive set of accessibility guidelines, some users with specific needs still continue to face navigational issues. In fact, certain types of disorders that were ignored earlier were taken into account under the current regulations. Normative accessibility doesn’t cover a large number of impairments and disorders. For instance, cognitive or motor disorders. The guidelines have proposed minimum spacing which may vary from one user to another, especially if the user is having Parkinson’s disease, he may find it difficult to navigate. These disorders require very specific adaptations.

WCAG 2.2 was rolled out with the intention of enhancing the web accessibility furthermore with the underlying WCAG 2.1 guidelines. They focus on improving accessibility guidance for the users having cognitive and learning disabilities, users with poor vision, users of e-books, and users with disabilities on mobile phones. With the increase in mobile phone users, this new update is essential to ensure that the websites are created to optimize mobile device usability.

Why is it best to incorporate WCAG 2.2 Guidelines?



1. ADA Compliance Requirements

One should comply with WCAG 2.2 guidelines for legal reasons. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) although doesn’t mention web accessibility explicitly, the legal landscape dictates that the law extends even to the digital landscape. In fact, many businesses having a digital footprint faced lawsuits when their websites have violated ADA guidelines. WCAG 2.2 guidelines would be incorporated into the law in 2021 and hence it is advisable for the businesses to confirm with the latest standards to be at the top of your game.

2. Moral Reasons

When a section of the audience with disabilities pertaining to visual, auditory, motor, physical, cognitive, and neurological impairments are denied access to the web, then it is a clear case of discrimination. Even the web should be an inclusive space. With the right guidelines, one can make the web accessible to everyone. Businesses need to be thoughtful, socially conscious, and shouldn’t discriminate against anyone. One should strive to build a cascade of inclusiveness irrespective of the legally binding agreements.

3. Business Outcomes

There is a direct correlation between web accessibility and business performance as it offers you a competitive advantage and accentuates your digital presence. By improving the access to everyone, you are essentially increasing the number of possible visitors to your website/app. This is a larger opportunity for all pragmatic reasons as you improve your chances of conversion and also build a customer base. The inevitable outcome of building an accessible website is the financial benefits that stem from increased traffic- improved sales, low maintenance costs, avoiding legal costs, etc.

Closing Thoughts

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 has rolled out new guidelines to make the web content more accessible. With these, you are making the web content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities. This isn’t difficult but you need to understand the users with disabilities interact with your website/app. You need to focus on incorporating the best practices to construct an inclusive web.

Skynet Technologies is offering ADA compliant website design and development services followed by Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards. We can make your Drupal, WordPress, Magento, PHP, Laravel website or Android, iOS Mobile App ADA Compliant to make it accessible for everyone.

EXPLORE ADA COMPLIANT WEB DESIGN

Web Development Company in USA
Loading...

Request Free Quote