As bookstores around the country shift their focus to online sales due to the coronavirus outbreak, web accessibility, or ADA compliance, has become increasingly important.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by the federal government in 1990 to protect people who require physical accommodations against discrimination; ADA compliance now extends to websites. Owners of websites that are not ADA compliant can face legal consequences.
According to Forbes, those who run their own website should conduct automated testing (using an outside service or agency) in addition to conducting their own manual testing.
Here are some of the ways booksellers can manually test their websites:
- Include descriptive alternative text for each image.
- Test to see if the website is both keyboard and mouse operable.
- Offer a variety of options, such as audio descriptions, for content to ensure all users can find information.
- Check to see if it is compatible with screen-reading software.
- Make sure text is understandable and readable for users accessing it from a variety of different devices.
Booksellers can also use WebAccessibility.com to test their website. This resource is free, and users can check up to five websites without a membership.