ADA Compliance and How It Applies to Your Shopify Store
The United States has a number of laws that ensure everyone has equal rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, ensures equal rights for people with disabilities.
The ADA can impact your business in a number of ways. You may already have an idea of how it affects your physical location, but what about your website?
A Brief Background on the ADA
The ADA is a civil rights law that focuses on people living with disabilities. It acts as an equal employment law along with covering other areas of equality such as housing and business. The goal is to create a fair environment where people with disabilities can live and have the same opportunities as people without disabilities.
The ADA provides protection for anyone with a physical or mental disability. A disability is deemed to be something that changes a person’s life in a way that places a significant limitation on at least one or more major life activities. It also covers anyone who might be viewed as having a qualifying disability, even if they don’t.
The ADA’s Relationship with Online Business
For a brick and mortar business, ADA compliance means adding ramps for wheelchair access when buildings have stairs or providing braille menus at restaurants.
Having an ADA-compliant Shopify store or website protects you against lawsuits from consumers who feel they have been discriminated against. It will also protect you from government fines for non-compliance.
Most of all, it will make your business more consumer-friendly. You show concern for all your customers and potential customers by making your Shopify website accessible. It also gives your business a reputation for recognizing and meeting the needs of your customers.
How to Make Your Website ADA Compliant
When you start thinking about Shopify ADA compliance, you need to be mindful of the audience you’ll target by modifying your site. For web content, the ADA recommends making your Shopify website accessible to people with visual and hearing impairments, including users who use assistive technologies such as voice navigation.
However, the ADA does not provide specific regulations or guidelines on the steps you need to take to meet these requirements.
Some general guidelines include:
- Adapting visual content for visually impaired users.
- Adapting audio content for users with hearing impairments
- Changing the layouts of buttons and other interactive content to cater to users with fluency problems.
- Ensure your site can be used with assistive technology.
- Create content that is easy to understand when using assistive technology.
How to Follow These Guidelines
There are several ways in which you can follow these guidelines, including:
- Altering the code of your website.
- Provide direct user assistance.
- Include best practices that will make your site easier to use.
Start by checking that all your images have alt tags. These tags need to provide an adequate description of the content.
If you are ready to make your Shopify website accessible, you can read a more in-depth guide here: https://www.accessibilitychecker.org/guides/shopify-accessibility