Is your banking website compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? If you don’t know, or are not sure, chances are it isn’t.
In case you haven’t heard, websites are being required to become ADA Title III compliant — meaning sites must be built to be accessible for people with disabilities, and banking websites are not exempt. This means coding your website properly to allow users of Assistive Technology (AT) — like screen readers — to access your website effortlessly.
And if you don’t comply? Law firms around the country are already jumping at the chance to file a lawsuit against banks. Firms have begun sending threatening letters of lawsuits against companies whose website doesn’t currently comply.
If your bank has already received one of these letters, here's how to respond (with help from your legal team):
1. State you are designing a new website with "Digital Inclusion" as a goal
2. You are motivated to conform to WCAG 2.0 Level AA Guidelines
3. You are working with certified web professionals that have experience, and can test for ADA compliance using AT devices
4. You are complying with the demands outlined by the Plaintiff
If you haven’t received a letter, it’s best to be proactive — not reactive — regarding ADA compliance. Research web development companies that will be able to relieve your company from possible litigation. To help define what specifically needs to be done for full compliance, we outlined the types of compliance needed below, as well as a checklist of the ADA’s website requirements:
Types of ADA Compliance Needed:
1. Comprehensible – The operation and information provided on the user interface must be understandable for AT devices, with no error messaging or invalid fields on web pages.
2. Perceivable – User interface components (like image alt tags and forms) must be accessible in ways users can perceive them easily
3. Operable – All components of the website’s navigation and interface must allow the use of a mouse, as well as a keyboard
4. Robust – The content of the page must be able to be interpreted by a vast assortment of AT devices, so use code than all browsers understand
ADA Website Compliance Checklist:
- Responsive – Content should be able to be presented in several different ways without losing structure or material
- Distinguishable – Create user-friendly content that is easy to both see and hear. Some examples are: larger font sizes or highlighted link styling
- Seizure-friendly – This should go without saying, but do not include design elements that could induce seizures in people (i.e., bright flashing colors)
- Time-Based Media – Provide a transcript for audio/visual elements that still presents all the same information that’s in the original content
- Give enough timing – Allow your users ample time to read and comprehend content
- Keyboard accessible – This means total functionality to the website via keyboard use
- Alt texts (text alternatives) – Give text alternatives for images so the content is accessible to everyone
- Predictable – Like any website, make sure the pages operate in expected ways
- Readable – Use text content that is understandable through styling and other methods
- Input Assistance (IA) – IA creates a web experience for people with disabilities that is free of text errors
- Compatible – Always be sure to maximize compatibility for users and their agents, like AT
- Navigable – Lastly, use more prominent and clear links in your website to allow users easier navigation throughout
Although the deadline for ADA website compliance is set for April 2018, businesses around the country have already been sent threatening litigation letters, and some have even been sued already (like online grocer, Peapod). Don’t risk a lawsuit for your bank. Be proactive.
Interested in making an ADA compliant website? We specialize in website design and development, and have experience with ADA compliance.