Is Your Website Built For ADA Compliance—or ADA Complaints?

We've been helping credit unions with website ADA compliance for nearly 2 years now and had almost reached a point of assuming the problem had run its course. Apparently not. Considering how quick and easy it is to perform a comprehensive audit, there's no solid excuse for putting it off any longer. You could still be at risk for a lawsuit, some bad PR, or simply being guilty of under-serving certain, protected groups within (and maybe even outside of) your FOM.

The Guidelines

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.

The WCAG documents explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. That content essentially consists of natural information such as text, images, and sounds, as well as code or markup that defines structure, presentation, etc.

WCAG 2.0 is the most relevant technical standard today. It has 12 guidelines that are organized under 4 principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. For each guideline, there are testable success criteria, which are at three levels: A, AA, and AAA.

What to Do

There are numerous free and subscription services that will run an automated check on your website to identify any obvious issues. However, the findings from these systems commonly leave you with a list of violations that you neither understand, nor have any idea how to resolve. Distill is happy to provide you with a personal review to explain the findings with your team. This audit also comes with recommended options for resolution of any problem areas.

If your site has a few, relatively minor issues, resolution can be as simple as having an internal or external web developer update those areas of your website. But when the issues are numerous and varied, it may be smarter to consider a complete website redesign. This is especially attractive if it’s been more than 3-5 years since your last redesign because it provides a great opportunity to resolve other issues that may have built up as technologies have evolved.

In any case, it’s paramount that you check your website without delay. Within a week, you’ll know if you’re even at risk. And if you are, you’ll have your options presented so that you can carefully consider the best path for your organization.