Why New Website - ADA

By: O'Rourke Hospitality Team

Discover the critical accessibility guidelines that your website needs to follow. In this quick video, Brian Fitzgerald with O'Rourke Hospitality Marketing sheds light on the key points for creating a website that is mindful of ADA compliance.

Hey there, Brian Fitzgerald here with a rural hospitality marketing. I want to do another quick video today and talk more about why you might need a new website in this video.

We'll talk about, uh, the ADA, the Americans with disabilities act and just general web accessibility. Uh, if your site doesn't follow some of these, uh, best practices that I'm going to share, or doesn't allow you, isn't set up in a way for you to implement some of these things, then again, a new website might be, might be something you want to consider.

Uh, the we're by no means legal experts in this space, but when it comes to sort of web best practices, these are some of the tips that we certainly, uh, in best practices that we follow.

So at a high level, it comes down to the WCA G the web content accessibility guidelines. These are the closest thing that we have, uh, as far as rules to follow, um, and for our best practices.

And then what we follow, we meet this 2.0 and or, and, uh, there is a new day, 2.1 standard that's recently come out.

It hasn't quite been finalized yet, but anytime we're launching a new website or doing a work, we're making sure that our sites follow this 2.0 standard.

There are, uh, different web based tools that you can run your site through, and it will report back any issues that, that, that have been found.

Some of them are more technical and require a developer to fix. Uh, one of the ones that has come up more recently and been problematic recently is related to a web contrast.

So if you look at something like this, where you have white text over a yellow background, uh, any, any, you know, average user, probably not going to be a problem to be able to see the text over, over the background, uh, but somebody who is, uh, cannot see the difference between those two, between those two things.

And so it's, it's failing from a contrast perspective. If you swap that for something, uh, you know, just say black, then you're, you're gonna have a great contrast ratio.

So as part of your design process, looking at these things and making sure that you're, um, that you're passing these different contrast ratios as well.

So that's more from me technical perspective, a development perspective, a design perspective when it comes down to your actual website and how you're presenting information, we have a few other recommendations.

So one is we recommend having a general accessibility page. Um, this could go under the, the hotel property, you know, general overview, uh, but we, uh, find it helpful and a best practice to articulate to a potential guest, all of the things that you do and provide from an accessibility standpoint, um, this can be related to just general access to parts of the, of the property, uh, elevator situation, ramp situations, hallway, widths, things of that nature.

It's very important here. Not to just talk about the things that you have, but also make clear things that you don't have, uh, if your property is older and more historic, and can't just, can't from a physical standpoint, do certain things, we find it best to just be clear about that, just set that expectation so that someone understands what to expect, uh, if and when they come to your property.

So general property overview information, and we also recommend a general, um, uh, something more specific about your rooms. So what, what room types, um, and how many rooms do you offer and the details of the amenities in those rooms again?

So if someone is evaluating a stay with you, they understand whether you do or don't have those, those room types.

One of the, the, um, parts of the guidelines here is that you, you have to make those rooms bookable online.

Um, we've had a couple of clients get in trouble. You can't say, please call for these rooms. Um, if, if all of your other rooms are bookable online, these need to be bookable online.

So that's, uh, something, something to keep in mind. And then lastly, from a content standpoint, we recommend a general what we call an accessibility advice page.

This usually goes down in the footer, and it just basically makes a statement that you're acknowledging that, um, the site meets those guidelines, the WCG 2.0, um, and, and encourages people to let you know if they've had trouble.

So you're putting yourself out there acknowledging that, you know, we've, we've tried our best. If you do find issues, we want you to tell us and report those to us.

And so again, just a general statement. Oftentimes our clients will sort of reiterate some of the things that are on some of those other pages.

So a, an accessibility advice page is something that, um, we, we advise as well. Um, and then lastly, something that that's more optional is, uh, that some of our clients find useful is, is a plugin or a little widget.

Um, these are done through a third party provider. There are many of them out there that you can evaluate and determine if, if they meet your needs.

Um, but this would be sort of a, an even extra step above all the other best practices that, that I've shared.

So ADA accessibility, if you, um, if you haven't addressed this or have found that your website is not able to address this for you again, a new website might be something that you want to think about.

And if you have questions about that, or if we can help in any way, please do, please do get in touch.

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