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Web Development - ADA Best Practices

Posted by Angi Moore @angela_k_moore, Nov 5, 2019

Good morning! We are completely redesigning our website. I want to keep ADA regulations in mind, as well as any tips for better use by our target audience, seniors. Please let me know your thoughts, and any resources you recommend.

Hey Angi,

There's a very robust article from Medium.com on getting a website up to ADA compliance levels – it's possible you've stumbled on it already. It's a very thorough look at the regulations and also provides a checklist of what needs to be included to meet those standards. https://medium.com/@krisrivenburgh/the-ada-checklist-website-compliance-guidelines-for-2019-in-plain-english-123c1d58fad9

A particularly good snippet from that article asks you to consider the following:
1. What is the primary purpose of my website?
2. What are the common paths that visitors take once they’re on my website?

Best of luck with the redesign!

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@rplattmmc

Hey Angi,

There's a very robust article from Medium.com on getting a website up to ADA compliance levels – it's possible you've stumbled on it already. It's a very thorough look at the regulations and also provides a checklist of what needs to be included to meet those standards. https://medium.com/@krisrivenburgh/the-ada-checklist-website-compliance-guidelines-for-2019-in-plain-english-123c1d58fad9

A particularly good snippet from that article asks you to consider the following:
1. What is the primary purpose of my website?
2. What are the common paths that visitors take once they’re on my website?

Best of luck with the redesign!

Jump to this post

@rplattmmc, thank you for sharing this!I am finding a ton of resources, but nothing easily digestible.

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Hi! We've got a CX/front end lead that's extremely passionate about this; adding @collin here. Based on our research, there are three standards that we all should cross reference:

1. ADA (Civil rights law)
2. Section 508 (Federal law)
3. WCAG (Build guidelines from the W3C at the “A/AA/AAA” level)

These are summed somewhat effectively under the https://a11yproject.com/.

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Love Rory’s post:

1. What is the primary purpose of my website?
2. What are the common paths that visitors take once they’re on my website?”

So important. For example, is the purpose of your website to attract new patients, to improve the health of existing patients, to generate more revenue, or to improve the health of the community? If you say all of these things – which is fine- how does you rate them? (For example, improving established patient health and improving community health are different design challenges).

In this context, especially for seniors, take a hard look at how you are using the right phone numbers. Healthcare is becoming increasingly complex with digital tech, and there is often nothing better than getting to the right person directly. For example, just because you/your COO/IT/admin want people to make appointments online, doesn’t mean that’s what patients want.

Second, and more controversially, prioritize your mission over excessive attention to over-meeting ADA requirements.

You must meet the letter of the law, but if you have the opportunity to vaccinate 5% more people over 65 (ie save lives) versus making your site more friendly, put your design resources towards the former. They hopefully won’t conflict much, but when they do, go to basics: what improves health, mortality, etc.

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@zanin

Hi! We've got a CX/front end lead that's extremely passionate about this; adding @collin here. Based on our research, there are three standards that we all should cross reference:

1. ADA (Civil rights law)
2. Section 508 (Federal law)
3. WCAG (Build guidelines from the W3C at the “A/AA/AAA” level)

These are summed somewhat effectively under the https://a11yproject.com/.

Jump to this post

Thank you, @zanin. I appreciate it!

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@matthewrehrl, I love that challenge. We want to meet the letter of the law, but ensure we are accomplishing our mission. What great insight. Thank you!

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Tagging Patricia Anderson @pfanderson for additional insights here.

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Don't forget about color contrast and font size! You'd be surprised how many sites overlook the obvious! the Medium article above mentions it. Also take a look at https://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/. @matthewrehrl – great comments. I am going to think on your comment about established patient health vs. community health. Do you have an example?

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Hi Angi,

One of our web developers boiled down the most important technical details into an 11-point checklist:

1. Use semantic HTML whenever possible so screen readers can properly navigate your site. Screen readers can read out headings and paragraphs. It allows you to jump to the next or previous heading. There is also built-in keyboard tabbing functionality for certain elements.
2. UI controls – use buttons, links, form elements, and labels appropriately.
3. Use the html label element to associate text with form elements.
4. Use clear language for links and buttons. Instead of “Read More”, try “Learn how to be compliant”.
5. Accessible data tables – ensure you are using <th> and <caption>.
6. Use alt text and titles for images (except for decorative images). Make sure they are descriptive of what the image is displaying.
7. Ensure there is enough color contrast between background and foreground colors.
8. Confirm that id attributes are unique.
9. Add a [lang] attribute to the <html> element.
10. Check if your third-party tools are compliant.
11. Add an accessibility statement to your website. W3.org has a nice tool that helps you build an effective statement.

I hope this helps!

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