Is Shopify ADA Compliant? Website Compliance and ADA in 2024

  |  5 min read
Key Takeaways
  • Website ADA compliance is the process of ensuring that a website follows the criteria necessary to be considered accessible by individuals with disabilities.
  • Websites should provide options for users to adjust font size, color contrast, and other features as needed in order to improve usability.
  • It's important to work with experienced high-end website designers to make the most of design and compliance.
Some Shopify website accessibility features can be solved with automated solutions.

As more and more businesses shift their focus to online platforms, it has become increasingly important to ensure that your Shopify website is not only visually appealing but also accessible to all users. This is where ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) compliance come in.

In addition to the ethical considerations, there are also practical reasons why it's important to address accessibility issues. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of ADA and WCAG compliance in a Shopify store and why it should be a top priority for website owners and developers.

Your Shopify website should offer digital accessibility that complies with ADA and WCAG standards.

What Is ADA Compliance?

ADA Compliance refers to the requirements set forth by the ADA, which mandates that businesses and organizations ensure equal access to goods and services for individuals with disabilities. This includes online businesses, which must ensure that their websites are accessible to all individuals, regardless of disability.

For Shopify online store owners, this means ensuring that their websites are ADA-compliant in order to avoid potential legal and ethical issues, as well as to provide a positive user experience for all customers.

Shopify websites aren't natively compliant with ADA, so steps need to be taken to make them so.

What Is WCAG?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide a framework for achieving usability, with three levels of compliance: A, AA, and AAA. Each level includes guidelines for areas such as text alternatives, captions and transcripts, headings, forms, color contrast, and keyboard-user considerations.

WCAG Level A

Level A is the most basic level, and includes guidelines that focus on ensuring that all web content is perceivable, operable, and understandable. This includes providing text alternatives for images, ensuring that links are identified with text descriptions, and providing captions or transcripts for audio or video.


Level AA builds upon the requirements of level A by adding additional requirements such as using headings to help organize content into a logical structure, providing keyboard usability to all functionality, and maintaining a sufficient contrast ratio between foreground and background colors.


Level AAA is the highest level of compliance and provides recommendations for more comprehensive ADA usability. This includes using sufficiently descriptive link phrases instead of "click here", adding language attributes to HTML elements to identify different languages used in a web page, fitting complex tables into smaller screens without losing data or context, and making sure that there are no instances where users are locked out due to time limits or an inability to complete a task within a certain amount of time.

Making a website Level AAA compliant.

Ensuring an Accessible Website on Shopify

To ensure Shopify website meets digital accessibility compliance, there are ten key steps to ensure website accommodating requirements are met.

Keep in mind, the rules for WCAG are hundreds of pages long, so this isn't necessarily an exhaustive list. Be sure to consult with an experienced digital ADA expert for full compliance.

  1. Use proper HTML structure: Use proper HTML tags to structure the content of your website. This helps users with disabilities to navigate and understand the content.
  2. Provide alternative text for non-text content: For images, videos, or other non-text content, provide alternative text (alt text) that describes the content. This helps users who use a screen reader accessibility widget or have visual impairments.
  3. Use descriptive and meaningful link text: Use link text that is descriptive and meaningful to help users with disabilities understand where the link goes.
  4. Ensure keyboard usability: Ensure that all functionality on your website can be accessed using a keyboard alone. This helps users with mobility impairments or who cannot use a mouse.
  5. Use contrasting colors: Use contrasting colors between the text and the background to help users with visual impairments read and understand the content.
  6. Provide captions and transcripts for multimedia content: For videos, provide captions or transcripts that convey the spoken content. This helps users who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  7. Use headings and subheadings: Use headings and subheadings to break up content into smaller, easily digestible sections. This helps users with cognitive disabilities understand the content.
  8. Ensure that forms are accessible: Ensure that forms are accessible by using proper labels, placeholders, and clear instructions. This helps users with disabilities to fill out the forms.
  9. Provide skip navigation links: Provide skip navigation links that allow users to skip over repetitive content and go straight to the main content. This helps users who use screen readers to quickly navigate through the website.
  10. Test your website: Use assistive technology testing tools to test your website for compliance with ADA guidelines. This will help you identify and fix any issues on your website.
Public accommodation tools are necessary in order to maintain ADA compliance.

Shopify Accessibility Features

Shopify provides a number of features that can help store owners improve the usability of their websites.

Theme Selection and Customization

  • Shopify store websites offer a number of accessible themes that are designed with WCAG guidelines in mind. Additionally, Shopify allows for extensive customization of themes, so store owners can modify themes to better suit their needs.
  • Shopify Digital Accessibility App: This website accessibility app is a tool that can be used to scan your website for usability issues and provide guidance on how to address them.
  • Third-party apps: There are a number of third-party apps available on the Shopify app store that can be used to improve the usability of your website.

Shopify ADA Compliance Guidelines

In order to achieve and maintain ADA Compliance on Shopify websites, it is important to understand the guidelines set forth by WCAG 2.1.

It is also important to design your website with accommodations in mind, and to train your employees on the importance of usability by anyone.

Finally, conducting user testing with individuals with disabilities can provide valuable feedback on areas that may need improvement.

Friendly accessibility tools help satisfy the web accessibility initiative

Create Accessible Websites with Clarity

Ensuring ADA Compliance on your Shopify store is essential for providing equitable access to all individuals, regardless of disability. By following the essential steps outlined in this post and utilizing the tools and features available through Shopify, you can achieve and maintain ADA Compliance and provide a positive user experience for all customers.

Clarity Ventures can help you to make Shopify compliant with ADA standards. If you are integrating with a CRM like Agile or Dynamics and want to ensure all of the data is transferred so that it ends up compliant once it hits the website, we can perform both the integration and make your Shopify website ADA compliant. Get in touch to learn more about what Clarity can do.

Website development.



Websites need to be compliant with public accommodation tools as laid out by The Americans with Disabilities Act in order to provide usability for people with disabilities, such as aural, mobility, and visually impaired users.

Websites should also include options for users to adjust font size, contrast, and other features that can help improve accommodations. Accessibility compliance is necessary for informational and online stores.

Websites must also meet certain criteria including: providing an intuitive navigation structure that is easy to use; ensuring all content can be read and understood without assistive technology such as screen-reading software; having elements on the page that can be used with just a keyboard; and providing alternative text descriptions for images and audio/video content.

Even if you only have your online store accessible to satisfy ADA, it's good business branch beyond the most basic accessibility guidelines, get our your accessibility toolkit, and make your websites accessible to as many potential customers as possible.


The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community that develops standards to ensure the long-term growth of the web, including web content accessibility guidelines. Founded in 1994, W3C focuses on creating open and accessible technologies, guidelines, and protocols to enhance the interoperability and evolution of the web.

Comprising industry leaders, organizations, and experts, W3C collaborates to establish web standards, fostering a globally consistent and inclusive online experience. These standards cover a wide range of areas, including HTML, CSS, and accessibility (Accessibility includes audio readers, video accessibility, descriptions in alt text, text links, etc.), ensuring that the web remains a universal platform for information exchange and innovation.


Making a Shopify site accessible involves ensuring that it meets the criteria necessary to meet ADA compliance. This includes ensuring all content is readable without assistive technologies, providing intuitive navigation, making elements on the page accessible with a keyboard, and providing alternative text descriptions for images and audio/video content.

You will need to ensure your website has options for users to adjust font size, contrast, and other features as necessary in order to improve usability for those with disabilities. This will help alleviate accessibility issues and increase Shopify accessibility.


Web accessibility refers to the inclusive design and development of websites to ensure they can be used and understood by all individuals, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. A website must identify accessibility issues, then create digital content and interfaces that are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust for everyone, including those with visual, auditory, motor, cognitive impairments, or other accessibility issues.

This encompasses various aspects, such as providing alternative text for images, creating clear and intuitive navigation, offering captions and transcripts for multimedia content, and ensuring compatibility with assistive technologies like screen readers. This is true whether it's an information website or an online store.

It is also advisable for your website to offer an accessibility statement that tells your users the type of web accessibility they can expect when they visit your site. An accessibility statement shows your users that you care about their ability to use your site as you offer them equitable access.

By addressing web accessibility issues, websites become more inclusive and offer an equal user experience to all visitors. It not only complies with (ADA legal requirements and avoids web accessibility lawsuits, but it also fosters a more inclusive online environment of accessibility guidelines, allowing a wider audience to access and engage with the content effectively.


Common web accessibility challenges with a Shopify store website include issues with default themes and templates. While Shopify provides a platform for e-commerce, these default settings often lack specific web accessibility features. Elements like images frequently lack alternative text, making them inaccessible to those using screen readers.

Non-descriptive link text also can hinder navigation for users relying on assistive technologies. Keyboard navigation can be problematic if not properly configured, making it difficult for users who don't use a mouse.

Color contrast between text and background may also not meet web accessibility standards, affecting readability for those with visual impairments. Multimedia content like videos might lack captions or transcripts, excluding users who rely on them.

Addressing these challenges involves customizing or selecting themes with web accessibility in mind, adding alternative text, ensuring clear navigation, optimizing keyboard accessibility, and maintaining adequate color contrast, among other measures.

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Stephen Beer is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures and has written about various tech industries for nearly a decade. He is determined to demystify HIPAA, integration, and eCommerce with easy-to-read, easy-to-understand articles to help businesses make the best decisions.