“ADA Covers More Than Physical Space”

People who have good eyesight may not consider that in today’s age of technology many people face challenges in accessing content on the internet, but we can help to overcome this weakness in the marketplace.

ADA and floor plans

Most of us are aware of some basic ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) guidelines as it has been in existence for 30 years. We know about a minimum of 32″ of clear space through doorways, no-step entrances, grab bars for support around toilets and in showers, and other key elements dealing with the location and placement of features in the home such as controls, countertops, and outlets.

Actually, ADA does not apply to residential construction, but many of us use its guidelines anyway, and some people specifically request that we include them. Commercially, they are required.

For many people, this is the extent of our knowledge of accessibility, however. But, there is more.

ADA and online access

Where would most of us be with the internet? Even those who don’t use it as frequently as others still rely on to various amounts it for news, sports, current events, hobbies, games, and similar activities. We don’t even have to be seated at a desktop computer anymore to have internet access, as we have notebooks, tablets, smartphones, watches, and aids such as Alexis, Siri, and Google Assistant.

But what about people who don’t respond so well to the computer screen because of the point size of the type, the font selection, the background, or the colors used? We can give people a choice in how they experience our websites at least. There is an ADA accessibility widget that you may have seen and not understood what it was. It’s a little stick figure reminiscent of DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man depiction and is seen on web pages increasingly more.

Doing our part

To help people expereince our web pages more fully and easily, regardless of whatever sensory challeneges they may have, the ADA widget and Alt tags for print and images, and closed captioning for audio, will allow people to engage us and experience what we want to share with them, without specifically designing for their individual needs.

If you need help in creating or installing these tools, leave a comment, and I’ll connect you with people who can help.


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