What are ADA Accessibility Guidelines?

Tactile and braille signage

What is ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law in the United States. It prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities from the general public. Under the ADA, discrimination is prohibited in various areas. These include employment, public accommodations, transportation, telecommunications, and government services to create equal opportunity. The law requires that reasonable accommodations should allow individuals with disabilities to participate fully in these areas.

It cooperates with many other acts. Some instances are The Fair Housing Amendments Act, Rehabilitation Act, Regulatory Flexibility Act, and Architectural Barriers Act.

What is ADA Accessibility?

ADA accessibility refers to the design of buildings, facilities, products, services, and technologies. Thus ensuring that they are usable by people with disabilities in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

ADA accessibility includes building design, website accessibility, transportation accessibility, communication accessibility, and more.

What are ADA Standards?

The ADA standards are issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). These apply to facilities covered by the ADA in new construction and alterations. DOJ’s standards apply to all facilities covered by the ADA, except public transportation facilities, which are subject to DOT’s standards.

DOJ adopts new ADA Standards under title II and title III of the ADA alongside the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. See also on DOJ’s website at www.ada.gov.

Accessibility standards issued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) apply to many places. These include public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government facilities in new construction, alterations, and additions. The ADA Standards are based on minimum guidelines set by the Access Board.

The requirements are to be applied during the design, construction, additions to, and alteration of sites, facilities, buildings, and elements to the extent required by regulations issued by Federal agencies under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

What are ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG)?

  • Architectural barriers: This includes requirements for ramps and elevators. It also includes other features that make buildings and facilities accessible to people with mobility devices.
  • Communication barriers: This includes requirements for accessible telecommunications equipment and devices. These include telephones and video conferencing systems, that allow people with hearing or speech impairments to communicate.
  • Transportation barriers: This includes requirements for accessible vehicles and transportation services, such as buses and trains, that allow people with disabilities to travel independently. Also, it includes providing accessible parking.
  • Information-technology barriers: This includes technical requirements for accessible websites, software, and other technologies that allow people with disabilities to access information and participate in online activities such as braille keyboards and TTYs.

What is ADA Compliance?

ADA compliance is short for the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. What that means is that all electronic information and technology must be accessible to those with disabilities.

The web content must be prepared according to the ADA regulations and ADA requirements.

How to Fulfil Digital Accessibility Requirements?

  • Conduct an accessibility audit: Perform an audit of your digital content to identify accessibility issues and gaps in compliance with accessibility guidelines.
  • Develop an accessibility policy: Develop a policy that outlines your organization’s commitment to accessibility and the steps you will take to ensure that your digital content is accessible.
  • Provide alternative text for images: All images on your website and documents should have alternative text descriptions that are read by screen readers.
  • Ensure proper color contrast: Use sufficient color contrast to ensure that text is easily readable for people with visual impairments.
  • Use accessible fonts: Use fonts that are easy to read and understand for people with visual impairments.
  • Provide closed captioning and transcripts for videos: Provide closed captioning and transcripts for all videos to make them accessible for people with hearing impairments.
  • Make sure your website is keyboard accessible: Ensure that all website features are accessed using a keyboard, without requiring a mouse or other pointing device.
  • Use appropriate HTML markup: Use appropriate HTML markup to ensure that web pages are properly structured and accessible to screen readers.
  • Test your digital content with assistive technology: Test your digital content with screen readers and other assistive technology to ensure that it is accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Train your staff on accessibility: Train your staff on accessibility guidelines and best practices to ensure that they are aware of accessibility requirements and implement them in their work.

How to Become ADA-Compliant with the WCAG 2.1 Level AA Guidelines?


For all live videos, provide captions. Add captions to your live videos using software or professional services.

Audio descriptions:

Audio descriptions are providers for all pre-recorded content. It is also possible to add a link near the content that directs users to your audio description.

Navigation options:

Offer users more than one option for locating a page on your site, unless that page is the result or step in a process, like completing an online checkout. Adding an HTML sitemap, site search, and consistent navigation menu helps you accomplish this to-do.

Headings and labels:

Use headings or labels to describe the topic or purpose of the content. Aim for descriptive and straightforward labels or headings. You should also label all site elements, like a pricing table or contact form.

Identification consistency:

Site elements with the same function should have consistent identification. Label and name these elements and use identical alt text for elements with the same purpose.

Error prevention:

Any pages that generate legal commitments or financial transactions, modify or delete user-controlled data, or submit user test responses must be reversible, checked for errors, and confirmed before submission. Create an order confirmation page, for example, or allow users to cancel orders within a specific period.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens If Your Website is not ADA-Compliant?

If your website isn’t ADA compliant you are at risk for a hefty lawsuit. Even if you unintentionally skipped the guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, you could still end up paying thousands of dollars in lawsuits if you’re website isn’t accessible to everyone.

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