Imagine a potential customer, Anna, who suffers from glaucoma. She has difficulty visualizing content on the high illumination of a computer screen. After an initial search, she opens your homepage in hopes of purchasing one of your products/services. However, your website has contrasting colors that make it difficult to see and the images do not have alternative text identifiable by her screen reading software.
After Anna struggles on your site for several minutes without being able to read or navigate your content, your customer goes from potential to nonexistent and will move on to the next available competitor. You’ve not only lost an immediate sale, you’ve also inadvertently demonstrated that your business does not value the needs of your visually impaired customer base.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recommends that businesses make accommodations to allow the disabled public to access the same services as clients who are not disabled. 
Millions of people suffer from a range of vision issues and depend on screen reading software to navigate the Internet. Therefore, the goal should be to make your website content accessible for everyone. That way your users, regardless of physical or visual impairment, can use your site effectively.
In order to avoid losing customers like Anna, website owners need to make a proactive plan to add these ADA compliant features. Essentially, this means adding or adjusting content to accommodate impaired users. 

Wondering where to start? As your partner in optimizing user experiences, we suggest a website audit. This audit will determine what features might lack compliance and develop a list of recommendations for updates.
Proteus can provide your website audit at no cost to help you evaluate the elements of your website. Once you have identified some ways to keep your content ADA compliant, these same principles can be applied when adding new, future content.
Here are some common elements that can be improved for ADA compliance:

Images: Alternative text is text embedded into an image which can be interpreted by screen reading software. Customers will be able to have the image described to them verbally because they are prevented from visualizing it properly.
Colors: The pigments of a background color and a text color should contrast enough so that the information is easier to read. For example, black text on a white background is much easier to see than grey text on a black background.
Keyboard: Impaired users should be able to navigate your site through a keyboard. For example, using the arrow and tab keys to change selections normally made by the mouse.

Stay connected to our future blog posts for tips and tricks on making your website ADA compliant. If you’re interested in learning more about ADA for your website, please reach out to your Proteus Client Success Manager.


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