What ADA compliance means for your TMS website

This article describes how ADA compliance impacts the build process and best practices for the websites Thomas builds for clients.

ADA Compliance for Websites

All of our Thomas Marketing Services websites are built to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance standards for the US. We ensure every website we produce adheres to best practices for accessibility and check all sites both pre- and post-launch for ensured compliance, but you should review any sites with your own compliance personnel to ensure sites meet required standards and applicable laws. 

Here is a quick checklist of items we check during our ADA compliance assessment process:

  • Headings & Titles
  • Text & Fonts
  • Visuals/Images
  • Colors
  • Navigation
  • Other dev/coding elements 

ADA Requirements in the US and Canada

The basic ADA compliant requirement is 2.1 Level A (minimum) and we are prepared for Level AA (mid-range). For most countries outside of Canada, only Level A is required. But, if we are working with any Canadian company, we want to meet Level AA and build this into the expectations for the build.

Note: We do not provide ADA certification or confirmation of compliance; this can be completed through a third-party agency such as:

  • Deque
  • AccessibleWEB (plugin)
  • WebAIM 

Accessibility Testing During Web QC: 

Our web QC department completes thorough testing on every website to ensure they meet WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). WCAG is considered to be an international standard for web accessibility. 

Google Lighthouse - an automated tool auditing a website for WCAG errors. Our goal is to have home pages hitting the highest score of 100. 

Keyboard Accessibility - being able to access all major functions of a site using only a keyboard (no mouse). We make sure that focus visibility is on showing all the links can be highlighted with a rectangular outline in a logical order (from top to bottom and left to right) when tabbing through the website. We also have the skip to main content feature in place where users can bypass the navigation and go directly to the main content on a page using the tab key. 

Our team is constantly striving to improve the frameworks of our websites so they are as accessible as possible.