The Importance and Urgency to Make Your Multi-Family Website ADA Compliant
You’ve built a wonderful website for your multifamily property. It has a wonderful photo gallery that showcases your various floor plans and amenities. There’s an FAQ section that customers can use for their queries. The “Contact Us” information is clearly visible and accessible. All of the pertinent information is accounted for. However, if your multifamily website is not ADA compliant, you’re doing your audience – and your business – a disservice.
In the following article, we’ll define ADA compliance, explain its importance to your audience and your business and highlight some of the steps you can take to make your website ADA compliant.
What is ADA Compliance?
In 1990, President George H. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This act was established to provide individuals with disabilities the same opportunities afforded to individuals without disabilities. One of the key factors of the ADA was to update businesses to be more inclusive and accessible to individuals with disabilities.
In a 2017 court ruling, it was determined that this same need for accessibility should be extended to websites. In that ruling, a popular supermarket chain had violated the ADA by failing to provide customers with a website that was accessible to those with disabilities such as impaired vision. Since then, a series of accessibility guidelines known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) have been considered an industry standard for website development. This not only means that new websites should be designed according to these standard guidelines, but that existing websites need to be updated to include these guidelines as well.
Why Is ADA Compliance Important for Your Website?
Developing a new ADA compliant website or upgrading your existing site to be ADA compliant is extremely beneficial to your multifamily business in multiple ways:
- Increases Audience Awareness – Without an ADA compliant website, your business is missing out on connecting with a drove of potential customers. If individuals are looking for accessible apartments but cannot find that information on your website because it is not accessible to them, they will choose a competitor whose site is ADA compliant.
- Improves Website SEO – With their recent Core Web Vitals update, Google has stressed the importance of the overall user experience for SEO. Since accessibility leads to a better user experience, it’s important for multifamily websites to include such ADA-friendly tools such as captioning for video content, alt text for images, and meta tagging. These additions also help Google’s web crawlers (called “spiders”) read your website content and index its contents for improved search engine results.
- Avoids Penalties – When new builds or existing properties do not adhere to the accessibility standards defined by the ADA, they are in violation of the law and are subject to fines and penalties. The same applies to websites that are not accessible to individuals with disabilities. If your multifamily website is currently non-compliant with ADA standards, then it could be subject to costly fines and penalties.
How Do You Make A Website ADA Compliant?
So, what is required to make a website ADA compliant? To make your new or existing multifamily website ADA compliant, we recommend that you take the following steps:
- Review the ADA Website Guidelines and use them to develop your new website design plans or evaluate your current site
- Ensure that your new or updated website can be accessed and navigated with a keyboard to accommodate vision-impaired customers who use an assistive screen readers and customers with mobility issues who may be unable to use a mouse or pad
- Make sure all of your website content can be understood by an assistive screen reader. This can be done by using standard HTML tags in your site’s code and offering all documents in a text-based format or an ADA-compliant PDF
- Choose appropriate images and graphics (avoid any that flash rapidly to reduce the risk of inducing seizures) and add descriptive text (known as “alt text”) to each image
- Stay up-to-date on the latest ADA compliance news, updates and rules
Now you know what an ADA compliant website is, why it’s important to your multifamily business and how to make your new or existing website ADA compliant.
If you’re unsure of your website’s compliance status or need help building or updating your website in accordance with ADA guidelines, the experts at Prelude can help! Contact us today to ensure that your multifamily website is adhering to ADA compliance!