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ADA and Web Site Compliancy

ADA aka the Americans with Disabilities Act enacted in 1990 to help those with various disabilities. Initially, designed for those having limitations to gaining access to doorways, sidewalks, and curbs. Over the years, the Act has expanded to those with visual disabilities from those with vision problems to those being unable to see. Today visually handicapped, blind users, motor impaired use machines to read websites thus the beginning of WCAG 2.1, Level AA rules to design websites for these allowing the impaired to read code, text, images, video, giving them access to the internet. All web designs must meet the web design rules that are set out in 508. Websites that do not meet WCAG 2.1, Level AA may end up with lawsuits against a company or institutions such as academic, governmental agencies.

UCF Brand Design

The UCF brand and style guide can be extremely helpful when designing a UCF Website or any website for that matter. Regarding UCF websites, many ADA components have already been built into the design concepts. UCF design themes have already been designed with ADA compliances already in mind and will at most only need minor updates to meet full compliance.

UCF Brand and Style Guide


Web Accessibility and Validation

ADA Government


General ADA Website Design Compliance Tips

  • Images should have alternative text or alt text tags that screen readers can translate.
  • All videos should have text captions.
  • Video or audio content should have either a text transcript or audio descriptions.
  • Links on media players are required to view content
  • Any heading or title should be readable and presented in a logical order
  • Make sure, and ‘b’ or ‘i’ HTML tags are replaced with ‘strong’ and ’em’
  • Make sure there are no empty links or heading tags
  • The web page presentation should have more than just color alone and convey information clearly.
  • The use of auto play audio is discouraged and should have an option to be stopped
  • The use of time limits provide notifications to the user
  • Make sure the site is navigable via keyboard, and the keyboard does not get stuck on any page elements.
  • Automatic scrolling or blinking content should have an option to be stopped
  • No strobing light, or rapidly flashing lights or colors used in the website design
  • A skip navigation link should allow keyboard users to access the content easily
  • Page titles should clearly describe the content
  • Links and buttons should be clearly labeled and named logically
  • The language of every page is identifiable in code
  • Elements in focus do not change the website content in any way
  • Forms are labeled and have legends that are easily read by screen reader software
  • Make sure there aren’t any major validation errors on the website design

YouTube player

General ADA Video Compliance Tips

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute designed to ensure equal access to opportunities and benefits for qualified individuals with disabilities. In many states, government, and education institutions, videos must include ADA compliant captions.

The following are best practices for ADA compliant video captions:

  • One to three lines of text appear on screen all at once, stay there for three to seven seconds, and are then replaced by another caption.
  • Captions timed to synchronize with the audio.
  • Do not cover up graphics and other essential visual elements of the picture.
  • Require the use of upper and lowercase letters.
  • Use a font similar to Helvetica medium.
  • Have good resolution.
  • Include not more than 32-characters-per-line.
  • To check for compliancy, select the Captions options drop down > Show non-compliant duration. This option highlights any captions in red whose duration is not between three and seven seconds.
  • Captions should be synchronized and appear at approximately the same time as the audio.
  • Words should be verbatim when time allows or as close as possible in other situations.
  • Captions should be accessible and readily available to those who need or want them.
  • Add music or other descriptions inside square brackets such as [music] or [laughter].
  • Captions should appear on screen long enough to be read.
  • It is preferable to limit on screen captions to no more than three lines.
  • Speakers should be identified when more than one person is onscreen or when the speaker is not visible.
  • Punctuation is used to clarify meaning.
  • Spelling is correct throughout the production.
  • Write out sound effects when they add to understanding.
  • All words are captioned, regardless of language or dialect.
  • The use of slang and accent is preserved and identified.
  • Use italics when a new word is being defined or a word is heavily emphasized in speech.

YouTube player

General ADA Social Media Compliance Tips

Social media is another important part of information technology compliance. As with websites and video similar criteria must be applied when posting to social media postings.

  • Please add alt text when posting images with Facebook.
  • When using Facebook try to keep posting between 2 or 3 per day.
  • Image descriptors should be applied when posting with Twitter
  • Place an alt text caption below the image when using Instagram
  • In general all alt tags should use strong descriptors when creating alt tags for an image in general.