On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disability Act or ADA. This act outlines rules and guidelines that prohibit discrimination and guarantees that those with disabilities are able to enjoy the same opportunities as everyone else.
Because the internet wasn’t in wide use in 1990, the ADA did not include specific language about its use. However, the law has since been interpreted to include websites.
If your church website isn’t currently ADA compliant, it’s time for a change. Check out these five reasons why your web design needs to be ADA compliant.
1. It’s the Law
The ADA is the law. While the law doesn’t explicitly list all of the ways that a website should be ADA compliant, you are still vulnerable to penalties if it is not.
If someone finds that your church website design isn’t compliant, they may file a complaint. This can lead to a variety of time-consuming and expensive legal consequences.
2. You Aren’t Serving Your Congregation
Over 61 million adults, or one in every four Americans over the age of 18, have a disability. This means that, on average, one in every four members of your congregation has some form of disability.
If your website isn’t friendly to those with disabilities, you aren’t properly serving your congregation.
3. You’re Limiting Your Potential Audience
If an individual with a disability is searching the web for a new church in their area, and can’t properly access your page, they won’t get the information that they need. They may also take that as a sign that your church isn’t friendly to those with disabilities.
Make sure that you’re making a good first impression on new members with a website that’s friendly to everyone.
4. It Doesn’t Require a New Site
In most cases, making your website ADA compliant doesn’t require a new site. Instead, you’ll need to make a few simple tweaks through a redesign that allows those with various disabilities, like hearing loss or those who are color blind, to read and enjoy your website.
Some examples of things you’ll need to do to make the best church websites that are also ADA compliant include:
- Adding subtitles to videos
- Not using colors to express information
- Make sure that your code allows software reading screens to read the content to the viewer
- Check that your pages do not use features that time out after a period of time
If you didn’t have one before and you’re looking to build a church website, it’s a good idea to keep ADA guidelines in mind right from the start.
5. It May Boost Your SEO
The same tactics that make your church website accessible may also help boost your SEO.
Search engine algorithms look for websites that are designed to match how humans interact with them. Making your pages more accessible aids in this. Besides boost your SEO, these changes may also make your website easier to use for everyone, including those without diagnosed disabilities.
Ensuring That Your Church Website is ADA Compliant
If your church website isn’t already ADA compliant, it’s time for a change.
Check out our web solutions to learn how we can help you redesign your site and ensure that it is ADA compliant.