For whatever reason the various real estate news portals across the web circulate a story about the importance of ADA compliance every few years, sending ripples of panic and fear through every real estate website owner online, as well as their poor tech people who manage those sites. To help dispel some myths, and offer some comfort to those confused we’ve prepared this article with helpful information you may want to consider.
Some Basic Info: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.
While it is certainly important to make sure your website is as usable and available as it can be for everyone, concern over these standards at this point in regards to your website is largely a non-issue, here’s three reasons why:
- Most visually or hearing impaired internet users already have hardware and software that makes the web readable.
- There are actually NO standard approved ADA compliance rules for websites.*
- The only way this even becomes a concern is if a suit is brought against you, at which point you have over 14 months to get your website “compliant”.
Some of the items listed as being part of compliance are already taken care of in our system, or in basic standard web design best practices. These include:
- Text alternatives for images
Most major images in our system allow for users to edit alt tags as they please.
- Captions for videos or other multimedia
These are a standard part of almost all video. Especially via services like Youtube which we support.
- Presenting content in different ways
Very vague. Our content is provided in a fairly standard way. Text. Images. Links.
- Making content easier to see and hear
Very vague. Most browsers, and other softwares, also handle this on their own already.
- Making it easier for everyone to use and navigate
Very vague. Best of all, our websites already do this.
- Website use from a keyboard
These settings are generally able to be controlled via the users own system settings.
- Giving users enough time to read and use the content
Taken care of! We don’t encourage fast changing slides or page forwards.
- Making sure the content you present doesn’t cause seizures
None of our sites use seizure inducing content.
- Having text that’s readable and understandable
All of our text is readable.
- Consistency of content and navigation throughout the site
Consistency is part of any good web design, and just one of the things that we excel at.
- Use of error messages and ways to get back to where one started
Our system always provides error information and a means to go back or reload a page.
- Content is compatible with various web browsers
Our sites are tested to be available on all major browsers and screen sizes.
Curiously enough, most of the websites that are announcing this urgent need for compliance themselves are not ADA compliant. We can only assume these radical scare tactics from these sites and news sources is yet another way to Cry Wolf for attention in hopes of increasing interaction and web traffic.
Once a standardized set of ADA compliance rules is released we will work diligently to include them into our system as part of our frequent, regular updates.
Should you make the decision to future proof your web presence with ADA compliance, we here at Tour Real Estate Inc, your providers of stunning real estate technology for over a decade, are happy to provide custom design towards this goal. Our attractive custom real estate websites provide a visually striking way to define your brand and stand out from the competition. Contact us to find out more!
*In July 2010, the DOJ released an advanced notice of proposed rule making seeking comments on website accessibility issues. The comment period closed in January 2011. The proposed rules have been delayed several times since that date. It appears that we will have to wait a little longer to see those rules—until at least 2018.