What Insurance Agency Websites Need to be ADA Compliant
There are a few things related to compliance that insurance agents need to keep in mind when getting a new website done, one of those being ADA compliance. It is understandable why it is important to have an accessible website that is usable to as large a group of people as attainable. That is what the guidelines seek to accomplish as far as insurance agency ADA compliance.
The Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 (ADA) made it unlawful for businesses and organizations to discriminate against people living with disabilities. Coupled with the Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, they stipulate that local and state governments provide qualified personnel with disabilities equal access to programs, activities, or services unless it will change the primary nature of the program and associated activities and services or cause an undue burden.
In short, ADA compliance works to ensure that governments’ digital content maintains accessibility to citizens with auditory, visual, and any other physical inhibitions or disabilities. As an institution serving citizens, it is important to present a website that offers accessibility to information, resources, and news.
Insurance Agency ADA Compliance Principles
This concept refers to the technology utilized to gain access to a website, especially pertaining to physical controls. The majority of people think of the keyboard and mouse after reading the above statement.
However, for individuals with disabilities, tools such as joysticks and screen readers may have to be used. Various disabilities allow some people to use a keyboard but not a mouse, and conversely,
Websites with good accessibility should have the ability to serve everyone without confining users and having certain features only unusable for a group of people. Though it may sound a bit complex from a web design angle, it is primarily about clean code and clever navigation architecture.
This refers to how a website that has insurance agency ADA compliance is read by individuals with disabilities. They should be able to perceive all of the website’s content, which means the webmaster is making the content accessible in multiple fashions.
Some success criteria for perceivability include but are not limited to:
- Text alternatives. If the content is in text form, then you should include a text alternative that delivers the same data. Among these are alt text for images, captions for videos and audio, or at least written elaborations of components that cannot be communicated in text, such as CAPTCHAs, examinations, and exercises.
- The text should have significant contrast between background and foreground colors, and the ratio of contrast should be maintained even when the size is adjusted. In most cases, a minimum brightness ratio of contrast between text and background is 4.5:1. Letters, numbers, and symbols should also be resizable to 200% with no loss in readability and functionality.
- Web pages should be functional in various layouts and settings while maintaining coherence. On top of being mobile-friendly, sites should maintain a sublime structure in both landscape and portrait modes with simple modes such as text only activated. Input fields should also maintain their integrity and ease of use in spite of the display mode.
While other concepts such as accessibility and perceivability deal with senses such as hearing and sight, understandability pertains more to the mind. Basically, users should be able to internalize your web content whether they read it or hear it for those using screen reading tools.
Wording and vocabulary used on a website should be chosen carefully, as with the design too, for insurance agency ADA compliance. It should be logical and not confuse users as to what to do next. Input fields and web forms should be well labeled and explained to avoid misinterpretation or confusion.
Under this pillar, insurance agent web design should be:
- Input fields should be easily navigatable
While other pillars focus on web content and design with prerequisites for a website to be accessible by people with disabilities, robustness refers to the compatibility and adaptability of the website with varying technologies.
Websites should work across a host of technologies and have to be developed to maintain this adaptability over the long term.
This is not just important for people with disabilities, but it is also essential for webmasters to have their sites accessible on the widest range of devices possible on top of assistive tools for the differently-abled. Principles under this pillar guide the handling of parsing, status messages, and name/role and value.
Why It Is Important for Insurance Agents To Follow ADA Compliance
- It is a federal law. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a law under federal jurisdiction. Standards for accessibility are set by the U.S. Department of Justice and they monitor all businesses to ensure compliance.
- It will expand your customer base. As stated by the American census bureau, roughly one out of five people live with a type of disability. The Association of People Supporting Employment First states that people with disabilities represent a three trillion-dollar market segment. The above statistics prove how big a market people with disabilities represent, and it is a basic business practice to make your products buyable by as many people as possible.
- Socially responsible businesses attract and keep customers. According to a study by Cone Communications, above 80% of customers state that they would go the extra mile to support socially responsible enterprises.
- Financial incentives and tax breaks. Not only does the ADA provide stipulations, but they also provide resources to aid in meeting them. The IRS has provisions under the Disabled Access Credit that help cover expenses incurred while trying to meet compliance standards.
If you are an agent and all this sounds like a huge undertaking for a solo venture, then there is no need to worry. You do not have to do a course in web design and compliance just to get your site up and ready.
Fortunately, there are solution providers that not only specifically deal with insurance web design but also hone in compliance with the sector. Insurance Websites has been in the insurance web design space for over two decades, building fully custom and compliant websites.
What sets them apart is their dedication to each project. They strive to build something unique for each client. Not only will they build a compliant insurance website for you, but they will also optimize it with the latest strategies and employ cutting-edge lead generation support.