Just like anything in life, websites should be ADA compliant. ADA stands for The Americans with Disabilities Act and even though not all websites are legally required to be ADA compliant, it would be great if they were.
But what do websites need to be ADA compliant, how do you comply with a website, and what does the result look like?
If these are some of the questions you’re wondering, you’re in the right place. Below, I’ll share more on ADA compliance and types of websites, but I’ll also share 15 of the best ADA compliant website examples in 2021 so keep on reading!
The Americans with Disabilities Act was introduced in 1990 and it is a law that prevents discrimination against people with disabilities.
Not all websites need to comply with the ADA, but the websites that should comply are local, county, state, and federal government websites.
Also, any other business that relies on the public for their benefit, including privately run companies that have a website and 15 or more employees.
The chances are that you’ve come across an ADA-compliant website without even noticing it. However, people in need notice it and that’s why it’s a law to comply with the ADA.
But what does an ADA-compliant website look like and how does it operate?
The ADA-compliant website should not only have content accessible to blind and deaf users, but also to anyone who needs to use a voice to navigate. This also includes other assistive technologies such as screen readers and the like.
You can see how important ADA compliance is and whether or not you’re required to comply with the ADA, you can still optimize your website to help people with disabilities.
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Now that you know what the ADA stands for and what the main purpose of this compliance is, it’s time to see some examples which will give you a clear idea of how you can comply with the ADA to help others.
Hilton is one of the biggest names in the hospitality and travel industry and they are a great example of how an ADA-compliant website should look like in 2021.
Even though Hilton’s website ticks all the boxes and it complies with all requirements, their website’s a perfect example of a seizure-safe website.
When visitors access the Hilton website, they get the option to choose their accessibility profile for their own preference.
Hilton has a really great seizure-safe profile that anyone can choose which eliminates flashes, and the color is automatically reduced and adjusted to the profile.
Flashing and blinking animations that we sometimes don’t even notice make a huge difference for people with disabilities and that’s why it’s important to either remove all such elements from your website or make a safe profile that users can choose when they enter the website.
When you switch from the regular to the seizure-safe profile, you notice the difference in the colors and lack of animations.
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Lonely Planet is another website that perfectly complies with the ADA and, just like the Hilton website, it allows users to choose the preference and profile of the website they’d prefer to use.
However, Lonely Planet is also a great example of an ADHD-friendly profile. As soon as you choose this profile from the profile list, the changes made to the website will help remove distractions and improve focus.
This profile also works great for people with Neurodevelopmental disorders as this profile alone can help them read, browse, and focus with fewer distractions.
As soon as you choose the ADHD profile, a highlight bar appears that helps guide the visitors through the website but also tells them what are some of the most important parts to focus on.
This also improves the navigational experience along with improving readability, but it also helps Lonely Planet make better conversions with the help of this guidance and also helps everyone find a perfect destination for their next trip.
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Condor is a well-known hotel chain that has great profiles that fully comply with the ADA and I find their visually impaired profile to be a really good example.
Visually impaired people might struggle navigating the website, reading the content, or following steps on the website.
With the Condor’s visually impaired profile, the text font changes to a font that’s easier to read and follow, and the whole text expands to cover the orientation of the screen for better focus.
These two features alone help people with tunnel vision, cataracts, and even glaucoma to read, focus, and engage with the website thanks to the orientations that adjust quickly as they browse.
This helps visually impaired people to find what they came for and it helps Condor to improve their conversion rate as a result.
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In case you are not familiar with Scope, it is an organization based in the UK that is actually a charity for disability equality.
Therefore, you can expect some great profiles that fully comply with the ADA’s guidelines.
I really like all of their accessibility profiles because Scope managed to keep their attractive design and still meet accessibility requirements.
Accessibility is very easy to reach and you can quickly activate any of the profiles you prefer. Scope’s website will then most likely improve the resolution, enlarge the images and text, make visuals easier on the eyes, and even introduce well-designed buttons.
When you choose an accessibility profile and you still would like to make changes to improve your browsing experience, you can do that with the help of the accessibility customizer. This is a great feature that should probably be included in many other ADA-compliant websites too.
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The BBC is known as the biggest broadcasting network in the UK but it is also known for its inclusive design that is very minimalistic and able to get lots of information delivered on each page.
Therefore, the BBC needed a good way to keep the design animportant aspect of their website and yet make it accessible to people with disabilities.
They did a great job by introducing accessibility features and making them feel like they were an integrated part of the website from the beginning.
As a result, BBC’s accessibility is really useful as it gives users plenty of options when it comes down to profiles and it doesn’t change the way the website functions.
On top of that, accessibility is very easy to reach and from what I’ve noticed, each accessibility profile prioritizes familiarity and consistency which helps users take full control of the way they consume the content on the BBC website.
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I’ve mentioned that even government websites have been ADA compliant and there’s no better example than the official UK government website.
Not only have they introduced accessibility on top of their website, but the UK government went deep into the HTML code of their website to make enhancements that will improve the overall experience.
This includes easier screen reading, better keyboard use, and the ability to make full use of the site for every visitor.
They kept the simple design with an easy navigational experience by removing the obstacles for every user, including those with disabilities.
Therefore, Gov.UK isn’t only optimized to comply with the ADA, they’ve fully optimized the whole website to provide equal access to everyone.
However, with such manual adaptation of the website, you have to ensure that you comply with all ADA requirements.
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Parramatta is an 85-hectare park and they needed a website that represents everything the park is about.
When it came down to accessibility and ADA compliance, they wanted to keep the same quality of the website and provide the same user experience with small tweaks that improve the accessibility.
They were able to comply with the ADA and allow users to choose the colors, link styling, the size of the elements, and even code structure.
This combines well with accessibility profiles but knowing that you can customize your own accessibility profile so you don’t have to sacrifice the user experience is a pretty great benefit.
Therefore, I believe this is a perfect example of how accessibility doesn’t have to decrease the user experience or the beauty of the website.
NSW.GOV.AU has one goal in mind and it is to offer information to everyone. Therefore, they had to perfectly comply with ADA and take things even further to optimize the website for a great user experience across all accessibility profiles.
Therefore, NSW.GOV.AU is a great example of a website that complies with the latest ADA compliance at an AA level.
With that being said, anyone can access the website and consume content even if using assistive technology.
When it comes down to design and visuals, NSW.GOV.AU kept the clear design with all information easily available in combination with a perfect navigational experience, regardless of the accessibility profile.
Even though they feature bold and vibrant colors, they were still able to pass accessibility contrast levels without having to switch to a less attractive color scheme, which is just another example of a great ADA-compliant website.
If you are not familiar with SnackNation (also known as Caroo), it is a web-based service that allows anyone to send snacks to their friends, team members, family members, or even deliver them straight to your home.
SnackNation is a perfect example of an ADA-compliant website that has an AA rating for being really well-optimized for visitors with cognitive disabilities.
When you visit SnackNation, if you click on accessibility, you will be able to choose between various profiles.
The cognitive disability profile improves reading and focus by providing features such as highlighting of the most essential elements, or a boxed-out headline or menu for easier navigation.
Therefore, people with autism, dyslexia, or CVA can browse the website with an accessibility profile and have no issues following the order of the website to order and pay for the snacks.
Monzo is a financial service that has its own website, but it is very simple and the main purpose of the website is to have users download the app.
With a mission to grow and expand its user database quickly, Monzo still knew that accessibility was important and they had to comply with the ADA requirements, even if they had a simple and straightforward website.
Keep in mind that they’re still a work in progress and even though they comply with all ADA requirements, they’re not at the top of the list, yet they are consistently improving their accessibility features.
However, any user no matter the disability can visit the Monzo website, choose the accessibility profile, and benefit from the improvements that will help with reading, navigation, and focus.
Therefore, this is a great in-progress example where we will for sure see many more upgrades and improvements, maybe even directly in the code of the website.
As long as there’s a will, there’s a way to change, improve, and progress and Monzo is a great example of a company on a mission to provide equal access to everyone.
Delsey might seem like one of many simple companies that produce and sell products in a small niche.
However, they still had to comply with the ADA and they did a really good job at introducing a very clear, visible, and easy-to-read font that users can easily switch to through the accessibility menu.
Delsey is also a great example of a website that was willing to sacrifice its brand’s font to provide a better reading experience.
All other elements and design of the brand are still in place which is a perfect example of how easy it is to make changes without sacrificing the layout, design, or brand elements.
On top of the simple yet efficient changes, Delsey introduced a great accessibility menu where you can manually adjust some aspects of the website to your own needs.
There’s no better example than when it’s coming from the foundation that has an important role in disability care, housing, and disability transport.
The Cram Foundation knew exactly what they needed to do even before the ADA was introduced.
They went a long way to alter their brand colors to combine decent aesthetics with colors that improve the website’s accessibility. On top of that, their whole website was designed from scratch to provide a better and newer design that didn’t only match their brand yet also provided great accessibility.
This is a great example of how aesthetics don’t have to be in the way of accessibility, yet both can be achieved to satisfy every visitor.
Even though they didn’t have to go this far to make their website accessible, The Cram Foundation really proved to everyone that they have a mission to fulfill and they did it in the best way possible.
KidzWish is another example from the organization that is working in the community with children who are sick, disabled, or disadvantaged.
Just like The Cram Foundation, KidzWish knew that their website could use a facelift. However, they also decided to focus on accessibility as much as they would focus on aesthetics.
A final result was a fully optimized website that complies with all ADA requirements and is scored at the AA level of compliance.
Since the KidzWish website is visited by people of all different disabilities, accessibility was of huge importance. Therefore, the KidzWish website was designed to provide the same user experience to every user and yet still have extra help for everyone who needs it.
The brand colors, elements, and design were kept intact so everyone who visits the website to consume content will still experience joy and have a fun experience which is exactly what this organization is all about.
Yokohama is a type of website that doesn’t necessarily doesn’t need all the accessibility profiles available, but it introduced a great customizable accessibility profile.
Every visitor who needs help reading content and navigating the website can adjust their own accessibility profile to get the custom help they need.
However, the best accessibility feature Yokohama has is the link highlight which boxes clickable elements (links) on every page so users can navigate easily.
On the homepage, this feature helps highlight menu options, links in the content, and images that are clickable.
Along with that, Yokohama has all other standard accessibility profiles that comply with the ADA. Yokohama is a great example because they kept their brand, color scheme, and elements without having to make too many changes to their website to comply with the ADA and make it accessible to everyone.
15. Wesley Mission
Wesley Mission is another organization that actually puts people first and ensures that its website provides equal access to everyone.
This organization is inspired by helping people on a daily basis. When their website needed a “facelift”, they knew that they should balance both the aesthetics and accessibility.
The result wasn’t only a website that fully complies with the ADA, but they went a step further to add additional features that could help.
Therefore, the Wesley Mission website is built using simple elements that are responsive, navigation that’s easy to use, mega menu, interactive content, and is even keyboard accessible.
A lot of changes were made directly in the code to which is a perfect example of how any company or organization can go a step further to accommodate disadvantaged people.
Most importantly, this “facelift” didn’t affect the way everyone else uses the website and that’s what really matters. Needless to say, this is one of the best ADA-compliant websites in 2021.
As you could see, some organizations decided to design their websites in a way to comply with the ADA requirements, but also provide additional help to everyone in need.
However, if you’re only starting to make your website compliant with the ADA, you don’t have to get into the code and construct your website any differently.
You can start by improving the contrast ratio or not relying on colors at all. You can also label forms clearly, create a feedback form, make your website usable by keyboard, ensure proper and consistent navigation, and make your subheadings simple.
Enough spacing in between text, bold fonts, and bigger font sizes can also contribute to a better reading experience.
Even though these are some of the smallest changes you can make, they can make a huge difference for some people.
But to make a huge difference, you should probably ensure that your website is responsive for different devices. Most themes are built to be responsive straight out of the box but you can even convert an existing theme into a responsive theme with a bit of skill.
Also, having an alternative way to consume media and content on your website is also a must.
Lastly, you can make all changes possible, but introducing a plugin that will help you automate the accessibility process and introduce profiles is a great add-on.
Most of these add-ons also allow you to feature a customizable accessibility profile which is becoming very popular as it’s a very useful feature.
As long as you consider disability, it’s not hard to make changes to comply with the ADA.
These are some of the best ADA-compliant websites, but there are also many more websites that are also doing a really great job.
As you can see, some organizations and companies put a lot of effort and go a long way to ensure that their website provides equal access and user experience to everyone.
This is what sets a really great example and the ADA is not just another law that you should comply with for the sake of complying because you’re doing it to help your visitors and your customers.