Is Your Staffing Website Compliant with ADA WCAG 2.0 Accessibility Standards?

By David Searns posted 12-12-2019 10:35


ADA compliance will be a hot topic in 2020 for the staffing industry - especially when it comes to staffing and recruiting websites.

You're likely familiar with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the protections and benefits it provides for individuals with disabilities. Since then, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design. These standards state that all electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities.

People with visual impairment and/or other disabilities may have a tough time viewing your site and searching your jobs (either on their own or with the assistance of other technology) because of the way your site and/or job board is designed. The Standards for Accessible Design are intended to level the playing field, providing equal access to jobs for all people.

While your staffing website may be beautifully designed, load lightning-fast and drive tremendous ROI for your agency, that doesn't mean it is ADA-compliant - or that it provides a great user experience for everyone.

If your website isn't ADA-compliant, you could be:

  • alienating job seekers and other potential site visitors with disabilities
  • missing out on a huge potential talent pool of 61 million disabled Americans
  • exposing yourself to non-compliance lawsuits with first-offense fines of up to $75,000 (lawsuits for ADA compliance are up 178%)!

Even the most attractive, high-tech sites can have compliance issues.

Here are the most common ADA compliance issues we see in today's staffing websites:

  1. No alt tags on images and non-text content. A compliant website includes text alternatives for all non-text content, including elements like pictures or any type of content not readable by a screen reader.
  2. Lack of heading hierarchy. Properly structured, consistent heading hierarchy is necessary for individuals using assistive technology. Organizing content headings with H1, H2 and H3 tags help screen readers correctly interpret what content comes first, as well as which types of content are most important on a page.
  3. Non-compliant plugins. For a site to be compliant, its plugins must also meet accessibility standards.
  4. Improperly structured navigation. This is important for people using screen readers, as well as those with limited mobility who are tabbing through your site. We frequently see issues such as:
    • Top tier pages on site navigation not being clickable
    • Multiple "overview" pages on a website - these can confuse assistive technology
    • Missing or inconsistent tab index - may cause skipping over menu items
  5. Too little color contrast. Sufficient color contrast (e.g., on a CTA button that changes color when you hover over it) is essential for color-blind individuals to easily navigate through a site.
  6. Small font sizes. A compliant site uses a sufficiently large font size so copy is easily readable.
  7. Inability to skip navigation. This lack of functionality can be frustrating for people using screen readers. Without it, users have to listen to the entire menu every time they navigate to a new page (which may cause higher bounce rates).
  8. Video without transcript. Videos on compliant sites also include accessible transcripts or closed-captioning.
  9. Job board / career portal can't be navigated with a screen reader. This is a key issue for website compliance as it relates to discrimination against job seekers with disabilities.

Concerned your staffing website may be out of compliance with the ADA?

Our experts are here to help you navigate this complex issue. Check out our ADA-compliant staffing websites or connect with one of our marketing educators to learn more.

Please note: The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only; it should not be considered legal advice.