A blind man sued Dominos Pizza after he couldn’t order a pizza on their website due to it’s poor design. Domino’s said that it was too much trouble to make a website accessible and would be too costly for every business to do that. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court and today they refused to hear the case against Domino’s Pizza. By refusing to hear the case they left the lower court’s ruling that websites are included in the ADA stay in effect. Access for all was established by the ADA and isn’t just about ramps for wheelchairs but also includes websites.
I’m so pleased with the Supreme Court ruling. When I lived in the Washington, DC area I used to car pool with a blind man and his guide dog (I always drove). He was a programmer and described how a screen reader would repeat what he had just typed. It was a laborious process and I was so impressed by his drive and patience to program like that. It made me very sensitive to the importance of designing sites that everyone will find easy to use.
Accessibility includes good contrasting colors, adequate spacing between elements, navigation that works with just the tab button, appropriately sized text and buttons, videos with transcripts, images with text descriptions and forms with labels on each field that the screen reader can easily detect and read.
You will save development costs if you work with a skilled developer who understands the guidelines and designs your site correctly from the very beginning.
If you’re worried about the accessibility of an existing site, please contact me and I can send you a free audit that will grade your site and give suggestions to improve it.