Restaurant Websites Should be Accessible According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA doesn’t define accessibility standards but most court case rulings have agreed that meeting the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1 at the AA level is the standard websites should try to offer visitors with disabilities. The benefits of having an accessible website are more than just avoiding possible lawsuits. Your website will be easier to use for everyone. Customers will be able to find you, make reservations and order food online more easily.
7 Ways to Make Your Restaurant Website More Accessible
- Accessibility Statement – Offer an accessibility statement that explains what you are doing to improve accessibility on your website. Give contact information so a visitor can get help with accessibility problems they may have experienced while visiting your site. Post a link to this statement on every page of your site.
- Add descriptions to images and other media – Adding information to the alt tag of a photo added to your site helps viewers who have trouble seeing understand what the image contains. Using images with text superimposed on the image should be avoided if possible. Otherwise, be sure to include an alt tag description of the text on the image. Provide closed captions for videos with audio.
- Beware of PDF menus – Offering a PDF version of your menu is an easy way for you to update your website with new menus. However, PDFs are harder to view on mobile devices and are generally less accessible for users with vision issues. Offering a web version of your menu is preferred for ease of use and it should be kept up-to-date.
- Check your site for accessibility issues on a regular basis – New issues can develop on a website over time as updates are made to the site so checking on an ongoing basis is important to catch any problems. Use a browser extension such as WAVE for a quick test.
- Stop autoplaying videos – Provide a way for users to stop auto-playing videos or animations. Or just don’t have them autoplay. This helps users who have trouble with motion.
- Third-party providers – If you use another platform for your online ordering system, check with them to make sure they are tested for accessibility. Ask if they offer a VPAT to show that their service is accessible
- Consider using accessibility overlays – Some users find these tools to be helpful while other users find they make it harder to use a website. If you offer one on your site, make sure that it can be disabled easily if a user doesn’t want to use it or have it on the screen. Also, make sure it doesn’t block viewing content at mobile screen sizes.
How do I fix accessibility issues?
By testing and repairing problems. Here are some of the ways to do this:
• Audit your site for problems using the WAVE extension in Chrome.
• Use a screen reader to listen to how your website works for non-sighted visitors.
• Fix issues that don’t require a programmer’s help such as by adding alt tags to images or adjusting color contrast with the WebAim Contrast Checker
• Work with a website developer to fix other issues for you.
• Hire a company to test your site and provide documentation about accessibility.
• Continue to test your site on a regular basis for any new issues that might appear.
• Respond to users’ complaints about issues with accessing your website promptly.