The Quick ADA Compliance Checklist for Your Website in 2023

minute read
March 28, 2023

Your school’s website is the first impression and source of digital presence for your school. When you work to update it, you’re likely thinking about updating content, making sure everything is organized and easy to find, and that your core values and mission statement are presented professionally.

But, if you’re not considering ADA compliance, you could be missing out on optimizing your website so that it can perform its best, while inadvertently excluding a large percentage of the population. The CDC estimates 1 in 4 people have some sort of disability. In a highly competitive market like schools and education, when first impressions count, you don’t want to give your competition any sort of advantage.

What Is ADA Compliance?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990, as an effort to decrease discrimination based on ability. As it relates to websites, the ADA compliance regulations refer to making digital content accessible to people with disabilities, including those who are blind, deaf, or have limited mobility. The ADA requires that websites provide equal access and opportunity for people with disabilities, and this includes making sure that website content is easily understood and that the navigation is accessible and operable to users with various disabilities.

To achieve ADA compliance, schools and website owners need to make sure that their website is compatible with assistive technology like screen readers, and that website content is structured in a way that can be easily navigated and understood by all users. Features like alternative text for images, captions for videos, and keyboard accessibility are all tools that can be utilized in working toward compliance. Read on to explore our ADA compliance checklist for 2023.

What Does ADA Compliance Mean For Your School Website and Why Is it Important?

Now that you understand what ADA Compliance is, let’s talk about what it means for your school. The ADA is a federally regulated piece of legislation, which means that non-compliance can have consequences. As we mentioned above, if your website cannot be accessed by those with disabilities, you may be missing an important section of your audience, losing out on potential new students or families.

More importantly, you can also be subject to lawsuits, fines or other legal settlements in some circumstances. If you’ve recently built a new website (or plan to soon) ignoring compliance requirements can also be a costly mistake, requiring additional website development fees to correct or update your school’s website.

ada compliance checklist in 2023

How to Test a Website for ADA Compliance

If ADA Compliance is a new area of focus for your school, testing or auditing is an important step in assessing the areas that need improvement or attention. This is especially true for schools that have multiple people writing or updating the website. There are various ways that a school can test its website for compliance. Go through our ADA Compliance checklist below:

1. Conduct an accessibility audit

Schools can hire a third-party accessibility consultant or company to conduct an accessibility audit of their website. The audit will identify any accessibility issues on the website and provide recommendations for fixing them.

2. Use automated accessibility testing tools

Schools can use automated accessibility testing tools such asWave, Axe, or Siteimprove to scan their website for accessibility issues and ADA compliance. These tools will highlight any errors and suggest possible solutions.

3. Conduct manual testing

Schools can also have their website tested manually by individuals with disabilities, such as students or staff members. These testers can provide feedback on the accessibility of the website and identify any issues that may have been missed by automated tools.

4. Follow established accessibility guidelines

Schools can also ensure ADA compliance by following established accessibility guidelines such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. These guidelines provide a set of standards that websites should meet to be considered accessible. By following these guidelines, schools can be sure that their website is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

website development

Understanding WCAG in 2023

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 is a set of guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). WCAG 2.1 is designed to apply to a wide range of web technologies, and it carries some key considerations and guidelines.

The WCAG also has 3 levels of compliance, with A being the minimum level of compliance with 25 different criteria, AA being the middle with the 25 criteria plus an additional 13, and AAA being the highest level of compliance, requiring those items from A, AA and an additional 23 items.

WCAG touch on all components of a website, including overall design, text, videos, audio components, and imagery. It breaks down the website user experience into four categories, perception, operation, understandability, and level of robustness.

Areas of Focus for an ADA-Compliant Website

Whether you’re looking to learn more about ADA compliance, attempting a manual audit, or want to be sure that a new website you’re developing will be compliant, here are some basic guidelines for different website components and what you should be on the lookout for.


When it comes to overall website design, a clean, organized structure is important. Brand elements and representation can be included, but you should limit yourself (or your website design team) to core elements like brand colors, brand fonts, and 1 or 2 versions of your school’s logo.


Color is an important component of an ADA Compliance checklist. For those with visual impairments, the use of color can make or break the experience and their ability to function within your website pages. Issues like too little contrast (i.e. gray text on a light gray background) can be challenging for some to see. Using consistent colors (i.e. green for all buttons) can help the user understand the action desired when they come across buttons on any page.


Font size and choice can affect readability and legibility. Too many fonts can be confusing, and options with too thin of lines can be hard to read. Be sure to test your website across multiple devices (large-screen desktops, small-screen mobile phones, and everything in between) to be sure that all text remains legible at all sizes.


Including accurate titles, descriptions, and alt text is an easy way to make sure your images are ADA Compliant. Use accurate descriptions for what is depicted in the image so that a screen reader can accurately call out and describe the image on the screen.


Captioning your videos is important on your website and any social media channels you may use. The on-screen text makes any of your videos accessible to those with hearing difficulties.


Using common language that the majority of the population understands, and short, easily digestible sentences can improve your website’s readability. Free tools like Grammarly can assist in offering grammar suggestions, but it will also flag sentences that are too hard to read or understand and suggest alternatives.


Your school’s website needs to be easy to navigate across multiple devices. That means that a menu that functions well on a desktop computer also needs to be useable on a mobile phone or smaller device. Links, dropdowns, or buttons can’t be too small to tap or touch, and text needs to stay at a legible size.

Partner with a Website Compliance Partner Today

Many complex rules, regulations, and guidelines are involved with The American Disabilities Act, and attempting to navigate it by yourself can be overwhelming.

Partnering with an experienced resource in website compliance like SOLVED Consulting can help to make sure that all students, staff, and community members have equal access to important educational resources and information, while also taking some of the workload and research off of your team.

By ensuring that school websites are ADA-compliant, schools can demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity and accessibility for all, and create an environment that fosters academic success and community engagement.

SOLVED Shorts Logo

Mini Clips