Websites to help those with disabilities
We all grow old and eventually have problems with our vision. Many of your customers are probably already having trouble reading your website and are enlarging their font size just to read.
Some visually impaired people are using assistive technologies to help them read a website. Those technologies might make fonts larger or they might simply read aloud all the words on your site. In order for these screen readers to work properly you need to include the correct code within your website, otherwise those assistive apps might read things out of order.
Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) stipulates that your business website must meet certain standards and follow simple rules. In October 2019 a court case ruling made it clear that any US business with 15 or more employees that operates for more than 20 weeks in the year must follow the ADA guidelines.
The compliance guidelines from ada.gov are a very long and have been interpreted by W3C into somewhat understandable web content accessibility guideline. We have done our part, as a jewelry website designer, to include features that are suggested in those guidelines.
Two very basic guidelines stipulate that you should not hide navigation links in drop down menus nor should you use AJAX features to load content to a page after scrolling down or moving your mouse. Therefore we omit those features from all of our jewelry website designs.
ADA compliance currently only applies to websites as they appear on a desktop computer. Even though responsive website design is very popular, screen readers often times get confused by hidden responsive elements unless extra programming is added to your site to prevent that confusion.
Accessible and comprehensive internet application tags
If your website isn't designed properly for ADA compliance you can add extra programming code referred to as Accessible Rich Internet Application (ARIA) tags. Some of these tags are always good to use while others are needed to fix mistakes that web designers make when coding.
For the good ARIA tags, we feel they should always be built into your jewelry website design. If you have a modern and trendy looking website you probably have to spend extra time and money to forcefully program in a bunch of ARIA tags for the accessibility apps.
Even if you have a brand new website, you're probably not ADA compliant. Let us test your website and explain why. Here's a hint: if your website uses a gray font color or has a drop down menu, then you're probably not ADA compliant.
Why would you bother creating a website that needs extra work?
How we test compliance
We follow and use the testing tools provided by WebAIM, the web accessibility company. Their testing took allows us to check our websites for "Level A" and "Level AA" accessibility. The testing tools provided by WebAIM are based on their interpretation of the ADA compliance suggestions. WebAIM created a checklist for web content accessibility that we do our best to follow.