In today’s digital age, websites are no longer optional, they’re essential. But just creating a website isn’t enough. You also need to make sure it’s accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. This is where ADA compliance comes in.
I’m sure your heard the term accessibility, and maybe even have Shopify accessibility research on your to-do list. With lawsuits for non-accessible websites hitting an all time high, consider this your PSA to become ADA compliant ASAP.
What is ADA Compliance?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. This includes discrimination in the digital world. Websites and mobile apps that are not ADA-compliant can be inaccessible to people with disabilities, effectively denying them access to goods and services.
Why ADA Compliance Matters for Shopify Stores
Beyond the legal obligation, ADA compliance offers several benefits for your Shopify store:
- Wider Audience: You open your doors to a larger customer base, including the 61 million Americans with disabilities, representing significant purchasing power.
- Enhanced Brand Reputation: Demonstrating inclusivity and accessibility strengthens your brand image and fosters customer loyalty.
- Improved Search Engine Optimization: Accessible websites tend to rank higher in search results, boosting organic traffic and visibility.
- Reduced Legal Risk: Avoiding costly lawsuits and fines associated with ADA non-compliance ensures your business operates smoothly.
- It’s the right thing to do: Everyone deserves to have equal access to information and services, regardless of their abilities.
How to Make Sure Your Website is ADA-Compliant
Here are a few tips to help you make your Shopify store ADA-compliant:
- Use clear and concise language: Avoid using jargon or technical terms that people with disabilities may not understand.
- Make sure your website is responsive: This means that it should be usable on all devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
- Provide alternative text for images: Alternative text is a short description of an image that is read aloud by screen readers.
- Use captions and transcripts for videos: Captions and transcripts provide text versions of the audio content of videos, making them accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Regularly Update and Test Your Website: The digital landscape is always changing, and so are Shopify accessibility standards. Regularly update your website and conduct accessibility testing to identify and address any new issues.
- Test your website with real users: This is the best way to ensure that your Shopify store is accessible to people with disabilities.
Shopify ADA Compliance Tools and Resources
Fortunately, making your Shopify store ADA-compliant doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Here are two popular apps and additional resources to guide you:
- Plans start at $30 per month.
- Read up and install it here: https://accessibe.com
This comprehensive app offers automated accessibility solutions, including:
- AI-powered scanning and remediation for WCAG compliance
- Keyboard navigation optimization
- Screen reader compatibility
- Alternative text generation for images
- Overlay customization for optimal user experience
2. accessibly by UserWay:
- Plans start at $5 per month.
- Read up and install it here: https://apps.shopify.com/accessibly-app
This app provides:
- A user-friendly interface for accessibility adjustments
- Toolbar for customizing font size, color contrast, and other features
- Compatibility with assistive technologies
- Real-time feedback from users with disabilities
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG): https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/
- Shopify Accessibility Guide: https://www.shopify.com/accessibility/policy
- Deque Accessibility Services: https://www.deque.com/
- National Center for Disability Rights: https://cdrnys.org/login/
Creating an ADA-compliant Shopify store is not just about meeting legal requirements; it’s about creating an inclusive and user-friendly digital space for everyone. By incorporating the right tools and following best practices, you can ensure that your digital presence is accessible to individuals of all abilities, providing a seamless and enjoyable experience for every user.
Start with an Accessibility Statement
Every website, regardless of your ADA compliance, should have an accessibility statement. This simple page demonstrates your brand’s commitment and offers ways to contact customer service for assistance. It may also deter someone from submitting a compliant.