YOUR BIGGEST DIGITAL LIABILITY IS NOT HAVING YOUR WEBSITE MEET WCAG 2.0 AA GUIDELINES, OPENING YOU UP TO A POTENTIAL LAWSUIT
ADA website compliance has become a significant factor for hotels and resorts across the country. While there is no official standard provided by the Department of Justice (DOJ) at this time, the accepted standard has become to comply with the WCAG 2.0 AA ADA guidelines. The WAVE tool has become the accepted standard amongst the legal community for measuring compliance with the WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines. If your website shows errors using the WAVE tool, found at https://wave.webaim.org/, you could be at risk of someone with a disability bringing legal action against your property. For a third party legal perspective on this issue, please see the excellent article written by Martin Orlick https://hotellaw.jmbm.com/ada-website-accessibility-lawsuits.html
GCommerce can help you bring your property website into compliance and avoid costly lawsuits. In addition to required design elements and functionality, there are several actions that you could take within your WordPress website’s CMS tool that could render your website non-compliant. GCommerce provides training and documentation to educate and assist you with your ongoing website management practices as it relates to ADA compliance. We can provide the tools, but ultimately it is the property’s responsibility to maintain compliance moving forward.
GCOMMERCE TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
- GCommerce will provide text alternatives for non-text content. In particular, we make sure that every image within the site contains a descriptive Alt-Tag within the CMS and media library. One important note; it will be incumbent on the property or its chosen webmaster to include an Alt-Tag when loading new photos through the CMS in the future.
- GCommerce will provide text-based versions of PDF documents located on the site. In particular, this is important for food and drink menus.
- In terms of Multimedia, GCommerce does not have any control over 3rd party multimedia pulled into your site. If your site loads a video through a 3rd party, like YouTube or Vimeo, the property needs to make sure that the video has captioning. If you have videos hosted on your primary domain that are not through a 3rd party video service, additional scope/fees will likely be required to ensure ADA compliance.
- All content on the site is accessible via assistivetechnologies, including screen readers. We accomplish this by making use of semantic markup. All images will contain Alt-Tags and all text is presented in a flat HTML format.
- GCommerce will add ARIA labels that exist on top of website elements that are only accessible via readers and provide either a description of functionality or a label for that element.
- GCommerce will install the Enable plugin. By using the Enable plugin, a user will be able to change contrast, size and readability of content to accommodate a varying array of visual impairments. The Enable tool also provides easy keyboard navigation for those who require such a feature. This plugin ensures that all functionality is accessible via keyboard.
- No content on the website expires, and all sliders and controllable by the user, ensuring that a user is not limited in the time they have to consume content. Example: When a user hovers their mouse over any automatic slider, the rotation is paused.
No content within the site contains excessive motion or flashes that would create seizures.
The website will contain a formal text based sitemap in the footer of every page. In addition, there is breadcrumb navigation and keyboard navigation functionality.
All text throughout the site, using the Enable tool, will have the ability to be increased or decreased in size to accommodate different visual impairments. The design also calls for high contrast throughout the site. Either light content is presented on dark backgrounds or dark content is presented on light backgrounds.
All content presented throughout the site will follow standard website practices. There will be no confusing functionality within the site.
When it comes to compatibility with current and future user tools, any tools we install are vetted to be ADA compliant.
GCommerce follows all of the above guidelines and principles for every aspect of the responsive site, ensuring users with disabilities have equal access on phones, tablets and desktops.
GCommerce is not able to ensure compliance for any 3rd party integrations, including booking engines. You must work directly with each vendor to ensure compliance.
As part of our website ADA compliancy service, GCommerce will establish a training call to provide guidance for keeping your website compliant. During our training call, we will demonstrate each of these techniques. This documentation gives you a guide moving forward as well as a training tool for new team members moving forward.
Contact us today to ensure your site meets these guidelines!