SF Integrative Gynecology – ADA Compliance
Dr. Ricki Pollycove had come to Smack Happy Design with concerns about the website and ADA compliance.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. Today, everyone needs to access various forms of web pages, applications, and tools for everyday things – like managing a bank account, making a mortgage payment, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, or shopping. Therefore by association – ADA influences web accessibility standards and it absolutely matters.
We had supported the website for quite some time and made some small adjustments for accessibility in the past. Now, we knew it was time to take that to the next level to bring the site up to the necessary Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and ADA standards for compliance.
For this project, we worked with our friends at Scalesology, a firm that specializes in custom web applications, implementing commercial-off-the-shelf software, developing security program strategies, and deploying analytic solutions for their clients. The team at Scalesology first performed a comprehensive audit to provide us with a detailed report, including any items that needed to be updated on the website for compliance and accessibility.
Our ADA-trained design and development team at Smack Happy dove right into the report and began our own audit of the site’s setup to ensure a smooth transition. It is common to have to compromise on some design choices when it comes to ADA compliance and WCAG standards, so we made sure we kept the preservation of the design in mind.
For the updates, we edited the code directly – as the site does not use a page builder.
Some of these updates include:
- the ability to tab through all menu items
- using aria-labels
- hierarchal restructuring of headings and content
- adding alt text to all images (unless purely decorative)
- color contrast adjustments
We used a set of tools to check and test each update along the way including, the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE), Browserstack, Colour Contrast Analyser (CCA), and assistive technologies like screen readers. One of our team members, who also uses assistive technology to provide them with reasonable accommodations at work, also personally tested the site to ensure a positive experience when using the website.
After our testing phase, we handed the site back to Scalesology for a final comprehensive report. Fortunately, we were able to bring the site to meet 35/35 standards (from a 27/35).
At the end of this project, we added an official badge of compliance – provided by Scalesology. To wrap everything up, we made sure to create detailed documentation for anyone who edits the site at a later date. The website will continue to be hosted with our trusted hosting partner WP Engine and receive ongoing maintenance from our support team to ensure optimal site health, security, compliance, and uptime.
Health & Wellness
November 16, 2021
From the Client
Great team work! I’m thankful for the Smack Happy Team. :)