A Simple Guide to Shopify Website Accessibility

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More than a billion people living with a disability in the world suffer from a lack of assistive technologies and inappropriate means of communication. Ensure equal access to your content, products, and services by creating an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant website.

ADA Compliance: Ensuring Fair Access to Online Content

Global awareness of disability-inclusive web development has grown tremendously over the years.

Most countries have laws in place that protect the civil rights of people with disabilities, prohibit discrimination, and ensure a barrier-free environment in all buildings and facilities. While this is a progressive movement, what isn’t universal is adherence to web accessibility standards.

Learn the basics of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and other accessibility standards and keep your Shopify website ADA compliant.

The Americans with Disabilities Act and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that around 15% of the world’s population lives with disabilities that affect their daily lives, including online shopping and web browsing. To address the need for web accessibility, the World Wide Consortium (W3C) has created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

WCAG is a technical standard that aims to explain ADA accessibility and guide web developers on how to make any website ADA compliant. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines have been adopted by governments around the world and are now part of various laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In 2017, WCAG 2.1 was introduced to respond to web changes and technological advancements. WCAG 2.1 builds on previous versions of WCAG and aims to make online content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including those who have:

  • Deafness
  • Hearing loss
  • Cognitive limitations
  • Blindness
  • Low vision
  • Limited movement
  • Photosensitivity
  • learning difficulties
  • Speech disorders

Shopify ADA compliance does not indicate specific adherence to the requirements of ADA or WCAG standards alone. ADA website compliance is an umbrella term, a benchmark standard for creating websites that are accessible to all users, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities.

Does my website need to be ADA compliant?

ADA compliance for Shopify websites is not an option, but a necessity. Many countries, including the UK, Australia and Canada, now require WCAG compliance for all websites. Whether you are legally required to make your Shopify website accessible at your outlets or your website is subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act, keeping your website ADA compliant is key to your brand’s success.

You can learn more about Shopify accessibility here: https://www.accessibilitychecker.org/guides/shopify-accessibility/

Ignoring the ADA and WCAG puts your business at risk of an ADA-related lawsuit, which can harm your financial capabilities, credibility, and marketability.

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