Hotel website ADA compliance is coming under scrutiny. Which means hotels need to stay hyper-aware of how their website appears to guests with disabilities.
What does ADA (American Disability Act) compliance mean for hotels? It’s a set of rules a hotel has to follow, both at their property and online, to ensure that they’re offering services for people with disabilities. Anything that comes across as discriminatory or makes it hard for people with disabilities to access what they need at a hotel can cost thousands of dollars in fees and lawsuits.
So, how do you make sure your hotel website ADA compliance meets all the requirements? Here are a few things you should take a look at.
Being able to make reservations for accessible rooms is paramount in ensuring that your website is under ADA compliance. Viewers need to be able to make reservations for those rooms during the same hours and in the same manner (meaning via any online reservation tool you have) as anyone else.
The property features you offer your disabled guests need to be easy to find and viewable on your website. Potential guests need to know if your rooms and property will meet their needs and will allow them to get around easily.
For example, you likely have pathways, ramps, lifts, and accessible parking, but do you have braille signage and A/V equipment for those that are vision and hearing impaired? What about the placement of furniture and light fixtures? If yes, you need to clearly describe these features on your site.
This is an area where a lot of hotel websites misstep with ADA compliance, so pay careful attention to what you put on your website.
Specific Website Features
According to the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which measures the worldwide technical standard, your hotel website ADA compliance should include:
- Alternatives for non-text content and time-based media
- Be visually easy to see and navigate
- Allow for keyboard functionality and sufficient time for users to read content
- Designed in a way that is not harmful to those that have seizures
- The text should be simplified and easily readable
- Compatibility with web assistances
This is just the beginning when it comes to hotel website ADA compliance. There are 12 guidelines outlined on WCAG, and hotels need to be compliant with them at all times.
Hoteliers have a million things to think about daily. It’s easy to understand how website compliance can fall to the backburner. But, it’s one of the more essential aspects of your website that you need to think about, especially considering the costs associated with non-compliant sites.
One easy way to make sure you’re compliant is hiring an agency that can guide you in the right direction. It will ensure you’ve done all you can to meet the needs of guests with disabilities.