Web Development & SEO Web development

How to Ensure Website Compliance & Accessibility

By Chad Cooper on May, 3 2024
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Chad Cooper

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A Guide to Protect Your Business or Organization

A strong online presence is crucial for engaging customers, donors, and the general public. Recent legal and regulatory changes highlight the importance of ensuring your website meets certain standards to protect your organization and site visitors.

Two key focus areas are data privacy compliance and ADA accessibility. Data privacy and ADA can be particularly important for certain sectors, including government, legal, finance, and healthwhich may come with even further necessary precautions (such as HIPAA compliance). Read on to discover why data privacy and accessibility are essential and how to guarantee your website meets the evolving requirements.


Data/Cookie Consent Compliance: Respecting User Privacy

Cookies are small pieces of data stored on users' devices and often used for tracking and profiling. This data can provide retargeting for digital ads and information on how users came to your site. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy laws require websites to obtain user consent before setting up non-essential cookies and provide users with options to manage their preferences.

In an era of heightened concerns about online privacy, cookie consent compliance has become a priority. Big tech players are updating their platforms’ functionality to comply with changing regulations. States are beginning to adopt individual regulations, and the federal government is on the verge of standardizing data privacy laws. Now is the time to protect your website and ensure continuity of data tracking in digital campaigns.

So, how can you continue to collect this valuable information in a way that complies with the new regulations? A cookie consent banner is a common solution. This banner notifies users about cookies, provides information about their purpose, and offers options to accept or decline them. Additionally, it should include a link to your website's privacy policy for users to review.


Here's how to ensure data consent best practices and compliance.

  • Implement a Consent Banner: Utilize a reputable third-party software program to display a cookie consent banner on your website.
  • Provide Granular Consent Options: Allow users to choose which types of cookies they consent to, such as functional, analytical, and marketing cookies.
  • Opt-Out Mechanism: Offer users an easy way to revoke their consent and opt out of cookie tracking at any time.
  • Regular Updates: Stay informed about changes in privacy regulations and update your cookie consent mechanism accordingly to remain compliant.

ADA Accessibility: Opening Doors for All

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures equal access and opportunities for people with disabilities, including in the digital realm. With the rise in online interactions, websites must be accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities. Failure to comply with ADA standards decreases engagement, excludes potential customers, and puts you at risk of legal action.

Enter the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 standards, developed to make web content accessible to individuals with disabilities. Adhering to these standards fosters inclusivity and demonstrates your commitment to social responsibility and customer satisfaction.


Consider the following to ensure your website meets WCAG 2.1 standards.

  • Accessible Design: Choose a design that is intuitive and easy to navigate, with clear headings, labels, and alt text for images. Image alt text describes the content of an image for visually impaired users and search engines.
  • Keyboard Accessibility: Ensure that all functions and features can be accessed using a keyboard alone, without relying on a mouse.
  • Color and Contrast: Use colors and contrast ratios that are easy to distinguish for users with visual impairments.
  • Video and Audio Content: Provide captions and transcripts for multimedia content to accommodate users with hearing impairments.
  • Accessibility Statement: Include an accessibility statement on your website outlining your commitment to accessibility and providing contact information for users to report issues, demonstrating a commitment to continued improvements and reasonable accommodations.
    • Additionally, implementing an accessibility feedback form allows users to report accessibility barriers, enabling you to promptly address and rectify them.


What About Accessibility "Overlays"?

A handful of products claim to make your site ADA-compliant by overlaying your existing site with accessibility tools. These are generally unnecessary if your site is built to WCAG 2.1 standards. Additionally, they pose a risk of rendering your site less compliant and more clunky. The best way to meet ADA compliance is to make it a foundational piece of your site rather than try to lay it over the top.  


What Happens if You Don’t Implement These Changes?

Immediately, it creates a poor user experience. Also, as time passes, ignoring whether your site adheres to privacy and accessibility standards could result in costly lawsuits. Given that we live in a litigious society, it’s only a matter of time before someone sees your website as an opportunity to seek a settlement for non-compliance.

By prioritizing cookie consent compliance and ADA accessibility, your company or organization can mitigate legal risks and foster a more secure, trustworthy, and inclusive online environment. Embracing these best practices protects your company or organization from potential litigation and demonstrates your commitment to respecting user privacy and accessibility for all. Making these investments now safeguards you in the long term and allows you to disregard the scare-tactic emails and sales calls designed to get you to pay for programs that may not meet your needs or adhere to best practices. Finally, there’s a good non-legal reason to tackle user data privacy and ADA accessibility:

It’s simply the right thing to do.


We're Here to Help

At de Novo, we specialize in developing websites that ensure data privacy and protection compliance and meet ADA accessibility standards. We also focus on the overall look, feel, and navigation of your site, offering users a refreshingly meaningful experience that spurs connection. It all leads to a website that nurtures engagement, drives growth, promotes inclusivity, and protects privacy.


Connect with us to work toward improving the form, function, and compliance of your website.

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