The Carimus team recently launched an all-new website for the Washington, DC-based nonprofit, the National Resource Network, featuring a design compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ADA, signed into law by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, is an over-arching civil rights legislation to protect those living with disabilities from discrimination.
ADA provides a framework for protecting the rights of the disabled across many aspects of American life; from employment law to public entities and transportation, as well as the digital realm. Businesses and entities who fall under Title I and Title III regulations must make a reasonable accommodation of disabled visitors to their websites.
These businesses and entities accommodate people living with blindness, deafness or other impairments through the usage of voice navigation, screen readers and other assistive technologies.
The National Resource Network, a program operated by a consortium consisting of International City/County Management Association, Enterprise Community Partners, Public Financial Management, HR&A Advisors, Inc. and the New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service are some of these entities.
Launching in May 2014, the network’s goal is to support cities across the U.S. who are challenged by a range of mounting issues. These issues include growing poverty, high unemployment, poor performing schools, aging infrastructure and vacant and blighted properties. The network partners with cities who are coming back from major economic challenges to help them identify and implement practical solutions to facilitate their paths to economic recovery and growth.
While there is little in the way of tight regulatory guidelines that prescribe how to build an ADA-compliant website, developers at Carimus worked to make the sight Level A-compliant according to ADA standards.
“Since it’s a purely informational site, like many of those necessary for nonprofits and B2B companies,” said site designer Justin Groeger. “Making it ADA-compliant isn’t as difficult as we previously thought. We focused on making the site friendly for scanning devices, with a simple architecture that’s easy to navigate for all people. We also added features like a pause button for slider images, so that visitors who need more time to take in some of the content can do so at their leisure, versus having that content change every few seconds.”
Stylistically, the site still acts as a first-rate creative exercise, with design flourishing throughout.
“The imagery is very city-centric, from background photos to animated skylines and urban silhouettes,” Groeger said. “It’s easy to see very quickly, even without reading the site copy, what the National Resource Network is all about. We thought they deserved an ADA-compliant site without sacrificing our normal high standards for creative design.”
While it’s mandatory certain businesses and government programs have ADA-compliant websites, it’s an ideal that most, if not all businesses make every effort to have sites accessible to people with disabilities. It’s good business, and it’s being better for all humans, too.