ADA Compliance on Mobile
5 Things to Keep in Mind
With web ADA compliance such a hot topic lately, and 2019 being the year of “mobile-first,” it seems like the perfect time to talk about ADA compliance on mobile devices. Just like always, mobile devices present some unique challenges pertaining to compliance.
Something to keep in mind is that just because a website is “responsive” doesn’t mean that it’s ADA compliant. There’s some overlap, but they’re not the same thing.
On mobile, the way that disabled users interact with websites can be completely different, and may include screen readers, or heavy dependence on voice commands, or other assistive technologies.
For a mobile website to be considered “compliant,” keep an eye on the following when building a new site, or remediating an existing site:
- Contrast – Certain visual impairments can make it difficult to distinguish onscreen elements if they lack contrast.
- ALTs – Every image should have a descriptive ALT attribute assigned to it. Any image that is meant to be purely decorative, such as background images, should use a null ALT tag: alt=””
- Accessible forms – Ensure that the forms are easy to use, and have responsive error detection, and instructive message that explain how to correct the form errors. The goal, of course, is to ensure that assistive technologies can match the correct field with the correct user data. Labeling all interactive elements with appropriate IDs and Classes can also make it easier to set up the reporting on specific form elements.
- H Tags – Properly structuring your H tag hierarchy will not only help assistive technologies understand your site, it will also help Google! Never skip any H levels, and make sure the most important heading is an H1, followed by H2, H3, etc.
- Language – Believe it or not, you have to be very specific about what language your site uses. There’s a tremendous amount of overlap of languages online, which makes it difficult for algorithms to differentiate them accurately. In turn, assistive technologies can have difficulty. Use the lang attribute: lang=”en” on every page of the site.
If these areas are addressed, it will help to make your site ADA compliant.