What is web accessibility?
Web accessibility (also known as “accessibility,” Section 508 compliance, or WCAG 2) means that people with disabilities can use the Web. Accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities.
A key principle of accessibility is designing websites that are flexible to meet different user needs and situations. This flexibility not only benefits those with disabilities, but it also benefits people without disabilities, such as those using a slow internet connection, those with “temporary disabilities” such as a broken arm, and those with changing abilities due to aging.
Basically, it’s the right thing to do. From a business perspective there are many studies on making a business case for accessibility.
- It increases the number of people that can use your website which may increase the size of your customer base.
- An accessible website can demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
- It reduces the chance of civil lawsuits alleging that your website isn’t accessible.
Check out these resources to learn more about web accessibility and how it can impact your business:
- Overview – https://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/Overview
- Social Factors – https://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/soc.html
- Technical Factors – https://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/tech.html
- Financial Factors – https://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/fin.html
- Legal and Policy Factors – https://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/pol.html
What we can do for your site
Like anything you want to keep up to date, web accessibility isn’t a one-and-done effort. Making sure your site remains accessible and adheres to ever-changing standards takes time and diligence.
The WCAG 2.0 guidelines are currently the definitive guidelines for conformance. There are three levels of conformance:
- A (simplest)
- AAA (most difficult)
The current industry standard is to conform with level AA and what we understand court cases are looking at and comparing your site against.
If you feel up to the challenge, you can use Wave to check one web page at a time. As you use this tool, you are looking for how many red “Errors” are present on the page you are reviewing. Or we have a paid tool that can check all pages of an entire website at once. We’d be happy to run a full report for you and provide that as a PDF.
Accessibility is a continuum of things you could do, and depending on your time and budget, you may not want to do everything all at once. By completing an Accessibility Review with us, we can do a deeper dive into your site and recommend specific accessibility enhancements based on your needs and goals.
Contact us today to schedule an Accessibility Review of your website.