As a business owner and the founder of EcomBack, I’ve navigated the challenging yet rewarding journey of creating an ADA-compliant website. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets standards for accessibility, and in today’s digital age, it’s crucial for websites to be accessible to all, including people with disabilities. This blog post explores what an ADA-compliant website looks like, focusing on visual and functional aspects that make a site accessible and user-friendly. Our discussion is tailored to help you understand how to make a website ADA compliant.

Understanding ADA Compliance

Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to grasp what ADA compliance means for websites. Essentially, it’s about ensuring that your site is accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities. This is not just a legal requirement but also a moral and ethical obligation to make the internet an inclusive space.

Why ADA Compliance Matters

  1. Legal Requirement: Non-compliance can lead to lawsuits and fines.
  2. Broader Audience Reach: Accessible websites cater to a larger audience.
  3. Improved User Experience: Accessibility features often enhance the overall user experience for all users.
  4. Positive Brand Image: Demonstrating inclusivity can significantly boost your brand’s image.

The EcomBack report shows in ADA website lawsuits data in November 2023, with 282 cases filed. Key points include a focus on Shopify users and sites with accessibility widgets, high case numbers in New York, California, and Florida, and notable activity by specific plaintiffs and law firms. For full details, visit the EcomBack November 2023 ADA Website Lawsuits Recap.

Key Features of an ADA Compliant Website

  1. Perceivable Information and User Interface
  2. Text Alternatives

Every image, video file, and audio file should have a text alternative. This helps users with visual and auditory impairments to understand the content.

  1. Adaptable Content

Content should be easily adaptable without losing its structure or information. This includes being accessible through screen readers and other assistive technologies.

  1. Distinguishable Content

The color contrast ratio on your website should be high enough to be perceivable by people with color vision impairments. Also, avoid using color as the sole method of conveying information.

  1. Operable User Interface and Navigation
  2. Keyboard Accessibility

All functionalities should be operable through a keyboard interface, allowing users who cannot use a mouse to navigate your website effectively.

  1. Enough Time

Provide sufficient time for users to read and use the content. This is crucial for users with reading or cognitive disabilities.

  1. Seizure and Physical Reactions

Design elements should not be designed in a way that could cause seizures, such as flashing lights or rapid animations.

  1. Understandable Information and User Interface
  2. Readable Text

Text content should be readable and understandable. This means using plain language and providing definitions for any unusual words or phrases.

  1. Predictable Navigation

Navigation and user interface elements should be predictable. This ensures that users with cognitive disabilities can learn and remember how to navigate your site.

  1. Input Assistance

Help users avoid and correct mistakes. This includes error identification and descriptions of errors in text form.

  1. Robust Content and Reliable Interpretation
  2. Compatibility

Content must be robust enough to be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

Implementing ADA Compliance: A Step-by-Step Approach

Achieving ADA compliance for your website is a structured process that involves several critical steps. Each step is designed to ensure that your site is not only legally compliant but also genuinely accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Let’s delve deeper into each step:

Conduct an Accessibility Audit

The first step in this journey is to conduct a thorough accessibility audit of your existing website. This process involves evaluating your site against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which are the international standards for web accessibility. Tools like WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) or Google Lighthouse can provide valuable insights into areas where your website may fall short of these standards. These tools are designed to identify issues such as missing alt text for images, insufficient color contrast, and inaccessibility to keyboard navigation. Remember, the goal of this audit is not just to identify the shortcomings but to understand them so that effective solutions can be implemented.

Plan for Accessibility

Once the audit is complete, the next step is to develop a comprehensive plan to address the identified issues. This plan should be detailed, outlining the specific changes that need to be made to achieve compliance. It’s important to set realistic timelines and assign responsibilities to ensure that the work is completed efficiently. This planning phase should involve all relevant stakeholders, including web designers, developers, content creators, and possibly users with disabilities for their invaluable insights. Collaboratively, establish priorities for the changes to be made, considering the impact on user experience and the complexity of implementation. This step is crucial because a well-thought-out plan will serve as a roadmap for the entire compliance process.

Implement Changes

With a plan in place, it’s time to implement the necessary changes to your website. This stage can range from minor tweaks, like adjusting color contrasts and adding alt text, to more significant overhauls, such as redesigning navigation structures or rewriting code to ensure compatibility with screen readers. It’s essential to approach this step methodically, addressing the most critical issues first. Ensure that your web development team is well-versed in the principles of accessible web design. This might involve training sessions or workshops to bring everyone up to speed. Throughout this process, maintain an open line of communication with all team members, and don’t hesitate to re-evaluate and adjust your approach if a certain solution isn’t working as expected.

Continuous Testing and Maintenance

Achieving ADA compliance is not a one-time task but a continuous commitment. Once the initial changes are implemented, it’s crucial to establish a routine for ongoing testing and maintenance. This includes regularly using both automated tools and human evaluation to ensure that new content or features are accessible. Involve real users, particularly those with disabilities, in the testing process to gain authentic feedback on usability. This step is about ensuring that your website remains compliant over time, even as technologies and standards evolve. Set up periodic reviews of your site to catch any new issues that may arise and address them promptly. Remember, maintaining ADA compliance is an ongoing effort that reflects your commitment to creating an inclusive and accessible digital environment for all users.


Creating an ADA-compliant website is an ongoing process that requires commitment and understanding. At EcomBack, we’ve embraced this challenge and seen the benefits it brings, not just to our users with disabilities but to our entire user base. Remember, an accessible website is a gateway to a more inclusive digital world.

How to Make a Website ADA Compliant? By following the guidelines and steps outlined in this article, you’re well on your way to creating a website that is not only legally compliant but also morally commendable.