Shopify and ADA Compliance
  • 25 April, 2024

1. What is ADA?

In simple terms, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law that makes sure people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. It was passed in 1990 to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities in various parts of life, including work, public places, and now, the internet.

What is ADA?

The ADA requires that businesses and organizations make their services accessible to people with disabilities. This includes things like making sure buildings have ramps for wheelchairs, providing sign language interpreters, and making websites usable for people with visual or hearing impairments.

Understanding ADA is important because it helps us create a fair and accessible world for everyone. It's not just about avoiding legal trouble; it's about doing the right thing and making sure everyone has equal access to goods and services, whether online or offline.

2. Why Do I Need ADA Compliance for My Shopify Store?

You might be wondering if ADA compliance is really necessary for your website, especially if you're running a small business or just starting with your Shopify store. The truth is, ADA compliance is important for several reasons:

  • Ensuring Equal Access and Opportunities: The ADA is all about making sure everyone has the same opportunities and access to goods and services, regardless of their abilities. By making your Shopify store ADA compliance, you're opening up your business to a wider audience and showing that you value inclusivity.

Why Do I Need ADA Compliance for My Shopify Store?

  • Legal Requirements: While the ADA doesn't explicitly mention websites (it was written before the internet became widespread), courts have ruled that websites are covered under the ADA if they are considered places of public accommodation. This means that if your website is not accessible to people with disabilities, you could be at risk of legal action.

  • Reputation and Customer Satisfaction: Making an ADA store isn't just about following the law; it's also about providing a positive experience for your customers. People with disabilities are an important and often overlooked market segment, and by making your website accessible, you're showing that you value their business and want to make their experience as smooth as possible.

  • SEO Benefits: Many accessibility features also improve your website's search engine optimization (SEO). For example, using descriptive alt text for images not only helps people with visual impairments understand what the images are about, but also helps search engines understand your content better, which can improve your rankings.

3. How Do I Check ADA Compliance for My Shopify Store?

Ensuring ADA compliance for your Shopify store is crucial to providing an inclusive and accessible online shopping experience for all your customers. Here are some tools that can help you check and improve ADA compliance:

  • Accessibly: Accessibly is an app designed to help ensure your Shopify store is ADA-compliant. It provides automated scans of your website for accessibility issues, offering recommendations to improve compliance. With features like alt text suggestions, color contrast adjustments, and keyboard navigation enhancements, Accessibly makes it easy to create an inclusive shopping experience for all users.


  • ADA Site Compliance: ADA Site Compliance is a Shopify app that scans your store for ADA compliance. It identifies accessibility issues and provides actionable insights to make your store accessible to everyone. By addressing issues like alt text for images and keyboard navigation, you can ensure your Shopify store is ADA-compliant and accessible to all customers.

  • A11y: Accessibility Tools: A11y is a comprehensive accessibility toolkit for Shopify stores. It helps you meet ADA compliance standards by offering features such as customizable color contrast options, semantic HTML tags, and alt text suggestions for images. With A11y, you can create an inclusive shopping experience and ensure your store is accessible to all visitors.

A11y: Accessibility Tools

  • Quick Accessibility: Quick Accessibility is a Shopify app that quickly scans your store for ADA compliance issues. It provides a detailed report with actionable recommendations to improve accessibility, including color contrast adjustments, keyboard navigation enhancements, and form accessibility improvements. With Quick Accessibility, you can make your Shopify store ADA-compliant and accessible to all users.

4. ADA Compliance in Shopify

Shopify themes do not inherently come with ADA compliance because they are designed to be customizable to suit various business needs and aesthetics. While Shopify provides a platform for building online stores, it's up to the store owners to ensure their websites are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.

ADA Compliance in Shopify

However, Shopify offers features and resources to help store owners achieve ADA compliance, so when choosing or customizing a theme for your Shopify store, you should consider implementing accessibility features such as:

  • Semantic HTML: Ensuring proper use of HTML tags for headings, links, buttons, etc., helps screen readers and other assistive technologies interpret the content correctly.

  • Keyboard Navigation: Make sure all interactive elements can be accessed and used via keyboard navigation alone. Color Contrast: Ensure there is sufficient contrast between text and background colors for readability.

  • Alt Text for Images: Provide descriptive alt text for all images to assist users who rely on screen readers.

  • Accessible Forms: Ensure form fields are properly labeled and usable with screen readers.

  • Responsive Design: Ensure your theme is responsive and works well across different devices and screen sizes.

  • Testing: Regularly test your store using accessibility tools and guidelines to identify and fix any issues.

While Shopify themes may not guarantee ADA compliance out of the box, you can work towards making your store accessible by implementing our Accessibility By SGTLab which is now available in Shopify app store.

5. Conclusion

ADA compliance is not only a legal requirement but also a demonstration of commitment to inclusivity and customer satisfaction. By making your Shopify store ADA-compliant, you not only meet legal obligations but also expand your customer base and improve your brand reputation.

We encourage all Shopify store owners to prioritize accessibility and utilize available resources to ensure a more inclusive online shopping experience. By doing so, you can create a welcoming environment for all customers and contribute to a more accessible digital landscape.