To be compliant, your website should allow "the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations" to your audience of all abilities.  

ADA compliance requires that you and your team inform yourselves about how your website is experienced by people with different accessibility needs so that you can ensure that they enjoy the same access to promotions, ticket sales, discounts, deals, and the ability to read and enjoy your content.

Areas where the Groundplan Theme helps you with ADA Compliance

Overlay Text for Promo and Event Images

Where possible, we provide fields to easily overlay text like event titles, times, descriptions and images over images.  Text rendered in the image itself, such as production titles, is not visible to screen readers, so if it includes important date and time information that creates an accessibility issue.  This text is also often cut off in different display sizes, so we recommend avoiding embedding rendering text inside images.

Alt text is the most common demand in legal filings and demand letters, because it is the most common violation. It's a common desire to use the look and feel of print graphic design when promoting events, but this desire can leave some users behind when alt text or rendered text isn't incorporated into the web experience.

Automated Alt Text

For dedicated fields like Calendar, Page Header, Headshots and List Images, the theme automatically sets ALT text to the Event Title, Person Name, or an appropriate value based on the context - so you don't have to!

Automated Meta Titles and Descriptions

When you add a page title, short description or Event title, those chunks of content are used in a number of locations to make the site more accessible and shareable.

Accessible Forms

Embeddable Gravity Forms are controllable by the user and designed with color accessibility in mind.

Keyboard Accessibility

The Theme sets a keyboard access order to allow users to navigate through the site intuitively without a mouse.

Font Sizing

Fonts are coding using adjustable CSS values so that fonts can be scaled up without loss of functionality.

No Autoplay by default

Any embedded videos or audio do not play until the user chooses.  We use web standard players like YoutTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, and Spotify which have their own accessibility features.

Ongoing Updates

Ongoing ADA compliance is one area where our managed hosting and upgrade service helps save you upgrade costs and avoid risks.  As new features and requirements emerge or are requested by specific users, we update all our managed sites to meet federal compliance standards.

Options during Setup that affect ADA Compliance

Color Choices

Your colors are selected during the setup period of the theme, and we help you choose sufficiently high-contrast colors.  Text should have a minimum 4.5:1 contrast threshold, ideally 7:1. Use this contrast checker to check the ratio between your text and background colors.

Color choice and contrast affects all users.  As we age, our eyes begin to shift colors away from blues and towards yellows.  This can yellow white backgrounds in particular, so color choices should take into account different types of color vision and use strong contrast between background and text colors.

Your Ongoing Responsibilities for ADA Compliance

Provide Alt text for Inline Images

When uploading an image inside a WYSIYG field or in a gallery, fill out the following image fields for screen readers:

  • Image title = a description of the image
  • Alt text = the text to display instead of the image

Any text inside an image should also be rendered on the page. For example, an event title inside a graphic should also be included in text form.

This article will guide you on how to add alt text and/or image titles to your images.

Accessibility for Video & Audio Media

  • Provide Closed Captioning for Embedded Videos
  • Provide Text Transcripts for video-only or audio-only content

Avoid using Downloadable PDFs

PDFs should never be the sole communication method for programs or access to your productions.  We recommend using web-based order or signup forms and our Event layouts and calendars, and only using PDFs as a supplemental print option.  Make sure all content in PDFs is duplicated in the website, and make it clear that the PDF simply provides a print experience.

You are responsible for Federal and State ADA Compliance

Laws and precedents evolve on a regular basis, and state law varies - Gameflow does not provide legal advice, only technical best practices.  It is your responsibility to retain legal counsel and decide the level of compliance that is right for your organization and your audience.

ADA Compliance issues that may involve additional cost or considerations

Ticket Purchase Time Limits

Most ticketing systems include a timeout feature which is not strictly accessible.  However, removing this limitation may either be impossible or could impact demand for tickets and business operations, so you need to make an informed policy decision based on your audience.  You can typically adjust this time limit, so make sure that accessibility is part of the decision making process when choosing an order time out limit.

Further Reading

We suggest this website to check out some common ADA guidance recommendations.

Or read this guide for some practical, understandable tips.