Archive for the ‘Announcments’ Category

ADA Compliance

Monday, December 9th, 2019

Have you taken a phone call from someone saying your website is not ADA compliant? The fear of being found incompliant with Federally mandated regulations is a valid concern, but if you read no further just know this, YOUR SITE IS ALREADY ADA COMPLIANT!

What is ADA? The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 and it prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in public places. If you own a hotel with a pool, you have already installed a lift for those with mobility impairments so they can enjoy your pool like everyone else. The government says anything open to the General Public must be accessible to all. The government has identified websites as being “public places” and therefore must be ADA compliant. Now, the only type of disability that would prevent one from seeing your website is blindness. So, in order for your site to be compliant it must be “viewable” to the blind.

That fact is, though, if your website is designed properly and optimized for search engines, it is virtually a guarantee that your site is already ADA compliant! Those suffering from blindness already have browsers and plug ins that will read all the text on a webpage. If the design of your site includes META data and image ALT tags (basically, these are pieces of programming code that tell search engines and other plug ins what the page content contains as well as describes what each image on the page depicts) then the plug ins used by the blind website visitors are able to give a complete description of what is on the screen when they visit your website. META data and ALT tags have long been in place, not because of the ADA, but because these are the tools used to increase search engine traffic. You see, you could think of Google as being the most famous blind “person” and in order to get them to send as much traffic to your site, we have always been in the practice of helping Google “see” what you see when they visit your site. Since these same actions also help the blind understand and utilize your site, you have been ADA compliant all along!

Hype is hype. JTZ Enterprise does not charge extra to keep you compliant and we don’t make it out to be something we just created. You do not have to take our word for it. If you want to see for yourself that your website is ADA compliant, visit this site and enter your website address and click the button labeled, “Check It”. https://achecker.ca/checker/index.php It will review your site according to WCAG (World Content Accessibility Guidelines). This is a free way to evaluate your site’s accessibility to all people, including the blind. Once you do that, check the compliance rating of a few of your competitors. You may find that just because someone has an icon on their site claiming ADA compliancy doesn’t always mean they are compliant.

For the truth about ADA compliance, I encourage you to visit this site:
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/website-accessibility-law/285199/

This gives a full detail of how we got where we are now. Read it and you will find there are no set legal standards to follow for making a website compliant. Furthermore, in a statement from the Department of Justice on September 25, 2018 it was noted, “… noncompliance with voluntary technical standard for website accessibility does not necessarily indicate noncompliance with ADA.”

No one wants to discriminate against anyone. I bet if you can get a person financed, insured and into a car, it doesn’t matter whether they are blind, deaf, mobility impaired, right? Just because enforcement is murky does not mean you should thumb your nose at it. Things change about your site all the time so it is a good practice to check your site regularly. If you find your site is not compliant, share your findings with us and we will get on it ASAP. We do so because know that this work will not only make your site even more accessible to all, it will also help us drive more search engine traffic to your website and on to your dealership!