Litigation is still developing around what should be considered ADA compliant on a website. Testing those developments in the credit union industry is complex, and many credit unions don’t take the time to truly focus on all the areas of ADA compliance on their websites. The litigation around these standards isn’t solid as the DOJ has not set new regulations, so some companies may find themselves at the center of a lawsuit when they don’t provide properly accessible website features.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) established a set of guidelines for accessibility known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. These guidelines determine three different levels of conformance, from A (the lowest) to AAA (the highest). The WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines promote four principles.
A website must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust:
- Perceivable: Users must be able to perceive website elements. Text alternatives for non-text content, alternatives for video and audio content, captions, and more.
- Operable: Make all “functionality” on a website available via keyboard (for example, some website users cannot use a traditional computer mouse).
- Understandable: Language on a website should be noted in the HTML so assistive technologies can translate.
- Robust: All content must be robust to be interpreted by a wide variety of user agents, like assistive technologies. For example, markup languages should have proper nesting, start and end tags, no duplicate attributes. In short, HTML and CSS should be clean and tidy.
These are still voluntary technical standards as the Department of Justice has not officially established new regulations.
Since your branch employees can still be the primary point of contact, you’ll want to ensure that your website remains a solid resource that can serve all customers.
Part of being a more accessible credit union is finding the right partner to create an accessible experience on your website for all members. We don’t specifically test your website for ADA compliance, but we can improve the elements of your website so you can better reach and support your customers.
For example, our online self-service forms offer a fully integrated, customizable solution that incorporates your credit union’s brand and image. This fast, secure interface also provides a streamlined user experience that will help to keep your members happy. In addition, we offer custom web development to service any of your unique needs. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, don’t hesitate to get in touch.