7 Steps to Make Your Law Firm Website ADA Accessible in 2021

March 12, 2021

As a law firm, it's not enough to grow your practice by fighting hard for your clients in court — you also need to keep those clients coming in.

A strong website should be the foundation of an effective law firm marketing strategy, as this is one way people are likely to find out about the services your law firm offers.

Having a trustworthy website is a must, but you also need to make sure your firm's website is functional and accessible to all. When creating a website, it's essential to remove all barriers that may hinder user experience, focusing on accessibility. By doing so, you can ensure users with disabilities and without can access your content seamlessly.

Here are 7 essential steps to make your law firm website accessible in 2021.  

1. Ensure all content is easily accessible

Navigating a website is often a challenge for blind and visually impaired users, which is why you need to make sure all content is easy to access for all users.  

Adding keyboard navigation is vital for users who can't use a mouse to browse your website. Disabled users should be able to access all the elements of the website, including URLs, widgets, drop-down menus, forms, and dialog boxes.  

For a website to be truly accessible, it should be possible to use all its features with a keyboard and nothing else. Test the website yourself without a mouse so you can determine whether all elements are easily accessible.  

2. Use Alt Text for all the images

Most law firm websites use images to convey their message, but these visual elements are not accessible to blind users and those with low vision straight out of the box.

Visually impaired users typically rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers that read the text on the screen for them using a synthesizer. For this technology to work for images, you need an Alt Text that describes the images’ content as clearly as possible.

3. Make it easy to use larger fonts

All major browsers and devices allow users to resize text, which is essential for visually impaired users. However, keep in mind that resizing can break the functionality of the website if the feature is not specifically built-in.

The website should have user scalability turned on at all times. To make sure everything works as it should, test the fonts on various browsers and devices by increasing and decreasing the zoom level. It should be easy to spot issues if the content becomes difficult to navigate or read.

4. Think about contrast sensitivity

With up to 1 in 12 people having some form of color-blindness, it's essential to make sure all users can distinguish between the elements of a web page. But this is not only important for people with visual impairments — but contrasting colors can also help those with learning disabilities to comprehend the content better.

Opt for colors that make the text stand out and avoid making elements on the page too bright as this may cause eye fatigue. If you're unsure whether your website’s text is easy to read, use a color contrast checker tool to decide on the best color scheme.

5. Make all forms accessible to all users

Most law firm websites have forms that users can complete to get in touch or for schedule a meeting, but you need to make sure they are accessible to all users. All fields should be clearly labeled, and you should try to place all labels adjacent to their fields.

6. Avoid using tables

Even though screen readers can inform users of how many columns and rows a table has, they don't do a great job at reading the actual data and information in a table in a way that matches the visual order.

For this reason, try to minimize the use of tables, and if you have to use one, make sure you use the correct headers for each column and row.

7. Provide captions for embedded videos

Captions are essential for deaf and hard of hearing users because they provide access to real-time content. You can choose from open captions embedded directly in the video file or closed captions that users can turn on and off.

Make sure that all videos on your law firm website meet the basic guidelines for captions. This means that they should be accessible on various devices, including desktop computers, mobile phones.

Creating an accessible website for your law firm is not just about making it possible to all users to read your content. It's also a way to help search engines understand your site better, which will result in improved search rankings.

If you are interested in improving your website’s accessibility functions, Denver Legal Marketing can help. Contact us today to get started!

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