What is ADA and what does it mean for my website?

The Americans with Disabilities Act came about in 1990 because of discrimination to disabled individuals in places of public accommodation. Perhaps you’ve encountered handicap-accessible parking spaces, wheelchair ramps, and ATMs with TTY and Braille access that are results from the Act. But in 2010, the Department of Justice stated that it would amend the language of ADA to ensure accessibility to websites, as well. You may have clients with sight disabilities, cognitive disabilities, or motor disabilities who bank with your institution, but together we can create a site that is accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, as of December 26, 2017, the Department of Justice has withdrawn their plans to implement any official laws, so there remain only Standards and Guidelines, and thus a website cannot have true Compliance in this area. It can, however, meet the guidelines to the greatest extent that is commercially reasonable.

How FIS Web Services Can Help

Scan Website for ADA Accessibility

  • SortSite – Automated ADA Accessibility Checker and Validator tool*

Areas of Focus

  • Images and Graphics:
    • Every image, video file, audio file, etc. has an alt tag
    • Complex graphics are accompanied by detailed text descriptions
    • The alt descriptions describe the purpose of the objects
    • If an image is also used as a link, make sure the alt tag describes the graphic and the link destination
    • Decorative graphics with no other function have empty alt descriptions (alt= "")
    • Make sure the page does not contain repeatedly flashing images
  • Forms:
    • When form controls are text input fields use the LABEL element
    • When text is not available use the title attribute Include any special instructions within field labels
    • Make sure that form fields are in a logical tab order
  • Misc:
    • Tables are formatted appropriately
    • All files (including Acrobat PDF files and PowerPoint files, etc.) and the content within them are accessible to assistive technologies, or else an alternative means of accessing equivalent content is provided
    • Include a method of skipping website navigation to help those using screen readers

Recommendation to Client:

  • Remove or remediate (client's responsibility) problem PDF documents from website
  • SOW to correct issues found in scan
  • Depending on age of website / number of issues found, proposal to rebuild / upgrade website to a more modern, responsive design

Steps You Should Take Going Forward**

Develop Accessibility Program and Policies

  • Consider third-party technical expertise to help guide you through the process

Review Plan and Risks with Legal Counsel and Bank Compliance Department

Train Employees Who Manage Website Maintenance

Ensure Website is Accessible to Users with Disabilities

  • Start building in accessibility proactively
  • Audit and test your website regularly to determine baseline level of compliance

*Since there are official laws in place, no automated scanning tool will ever be 100% accurate. FIS makes no claim to the accuracy or completeness of the these scans and assumes no liability for accessibility compliance.

**Please Note: Clients are responsible for determining compliance with all regulatory requirements specific to their website. The FIS Web Services team will gladly cooperate with clients to make any changes requested to their websites under the terms of the agreements with those clients.

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