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A Simple Guide to Shopify Website Accessibility 

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More than a billion people living with disabilities around the world are affected by a lack of assistive technologies and non-adaptive 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 Equitable Access to Online Content

Global awareness of disability-inclusive web development has increased significantly over the years. 

Most countries have implemented laws that protect the civil rights of people with disabilities, prohibit discrimination, and ensure a barrier-free environment in all buildings and facilities. Although this is a progressive movement, what is not 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 approximately 15 percent 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 Website 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. If a company or website wishes to do business in the US, it is mandatory to follow the ADA website accessibility guidelines, as laid down by federal law, or else be prepared to face lawsuits filed by unsatisfied customers. Here, a specialized agency like “Accessibility Spark” can help, by ensuring that the website not only passes a color contrast checker test but a WordPress accessibility test too. This makes it easier for users to search for information and buy products & and services online.

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

  • Deafness
  • Hearing loss
  • Cognitive limitations
  • Blindness
  • Low vision
  • Limited movement
  • Photosensitivity
  • Learning difficulties
  • Speech disabilities

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

Does My Website Have to Comply With the ADA?

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 service locations or your website is subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act, keeping your website compliant with the ADA is the key to making your brand a success.

You can find out more about Shopify accessibility here:

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