GO BACKTechnical AccessibilityWhat needs to be accessible?Find out if your website is compliant
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Website accessibility standards are no longer an option for website owners. As our reliance on the internet has rapidly and significantly increased, the needs and standards for websites have adjusted accordingly.
A compliant website ensures users with limitations and disabilities of all kinds can easily navigate and digest information or services on your website. Ensuring website accessibility also broadens your audience and protects your company against lawsuits and legal battles.
Depending on your location in the world, your website is subject to specific compliance standards and regulations. While meeting these standards may have once been an involved and complicated process, thanks to new automated solutions on the market, making your website compliant has never been more simple.
When it comes to website, there have never been easier accessibility solutions available to website owners. Here is a brief rundown of the top three solutions providing website accessibility remediation:
accessiBe is a fully automated web accessibility solution that assists businesses in meeting ADA and WCAG compliance requirements. Thanks to its automated process that implements innovative AI technology, more costly, manual processes are now a thing of the past.
Three aspects of accessiBe’s offerings your business will love include:
Combine the monitoring services with practical automated solutions ranging from keyboard navigation for people with motor limitations to a glossary for people with cognitive disabilities, and your website will be operating at the highest compliance levels.
Companies like Oreo, Go-Pro, and Hilton have recognized the power of AccessiBe’s automated solutions and have made the leap to website compliance. But the company not only caters to large corporations; in fact, their goal is to help make the internet compliant by 2025. Small and large businesses alike will find the tools they need for achieving website compliance.
UserWay is a website accessibility solution that empowers you to ensure that your website meets and exceeds WCAG 2.1 AA requirements. By delivering integrated and fully automated compliance as a service solution, UserWay can carefully monitor, adjust, and measure any existing or new violations. The best part? This can all be done without implementing changes to your website’s code.
Unique offerings from UserWay include:
From Disney Hotels to Greece’s government, small and large businesses alike are finding success with UserWay’s accessibility offerings. Whether your business is in retail, healthcare, banking, or another industry, UserWay’s solutions ensure your website meets important compliance requirements.
Why have major companies and small businesses alike flocked to automated solutions for website compliance? The answer is threefold.
First, we are experiencing an unprecedented usage of the internet and an influx of internet users worldwide, and these users come with a variety of different needs. Secondly, legally, your company is obligated to meet certain compliance standards. What compliance standards are necessary will depend on where your company is located. Lastly, many site owners feel a moral obligation to meet users’ needs with disabilities, just as they would in a brick and mortar store.
Keep reading to learn more about why website accessibility is so crucial to your business.
More than ever, businesses are experiencing an increase in legal-related issues regarding their website’s compliance standards. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 60% of internet users said that COVID-19 had increased their awareness of how important digital accessibility is, and another 37% either personally experienced or heard about the difficult time users with disabilities were having with non-compliant websites. As the world becomes increasingly digital with remote learning and working from home, users are using the internet like never before.
Along with this influx comes a greater demand to implement digital accessibility solutions and create websites that are accessible to all people.
Cognitive, motor, hearing, visual, and other disabilities or limitations require websites to implement certain standards to ensure everyone can fully navigate and enjoy them.
Several big cases regarding website compliance have garnered media attention, which has helped flame the awareness of the importance of website accessibility. Non-compliant sites owned from corporations to small mom and pop shops are experiencing an increase in demand letters, lawsuits, and settlements.
When your business must take time from operating and reallocate resources to legal proceedings, it can suffer greatly. While compliance standards are relatively easy and inexpensive to implement, the cost of website accessibility can be sky-high. It is estimated that the process of addressing even one web accessibility complaint can cost nearly $10,000, and when that’s combined with other related fees like litigation costs, counsel, and otherwise, the end sum can be as large as $350,000.
When you consider that nearly 70% of websites have little to no accessibility standards, that’s a lot of vulnerability out there.
The rise in awareness of the importance of digital accessibility helps to further the idea that online space is actually a public one. Just as businesses go to lengths to protect equality in public spaces, so too should online accessibility become a priority.
When your website is not compliant, you are doing a disservice to a wide market of users. These kinds of users include those with:
Additionally, some users may suffer from seizures when triggered by flashing lights on a screen. Other users with ADHD have a difficult time concentrating on busy websites and need additional help in focusing. No matter the reason, implementing compliance standards allows you to ensure access to various users with a multitude of different needs.
It is estimated that there are as many as 15.5 million potential customers with hearing or sight impairments alone. When you look at the sheer number of users without fair access to your website’s content, the underlying urgency to implement compliance standards becomes clear. Any company wanting to serve all internet users in 2020 needs to recognize that it is their social and moral responsibility to render their websites compliant.
Recognizing and serving a new audience by implementing digital accessibility solutions also increases your exposure and has the potential to add to your company’s revenue. Accessible websites are also judged more favorably by Google ranking, which means that much more exposure to people and potential sales around the world.
If you are new to the world of website compliance it might look a little overwhelming at first glance. Here’s the breakdown. In general, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) lays the foundation for compliance standards. There are different levels within the WCAG, but most compliance standards will indicate a need to meet WCAG 2.0 AA level.
Based on WCAG guidelines, countries all over the world have developed legislation to further address accessibility guidelines. Here’s a brief explanation of legislation according to regions:
Depending on where your company is in the world, you might be obligated to uphold specific legal legislation to legally operate your website. Keep in mind, however, that the baseline for most places in the world is the WCAG 2.0 AA, and you should strive to meet at least that.
When you combine the urgent need to provide equal and navigable space for all internet users with the rise in the threat of legal complications from owning a non-compliant website, the urgent need to start your journey toward website accessibility becomes crystal clear.
Thankfully the process has never been easier with automated solutions from companies like accessiBe, and UserWay. Long gone are the days of complicated and expensive procedures to implement compliance standards. With great automated solutions available, the question is: what are you waiting for?
Still not sure how to start? Scan your website for free for accessibility issues and see exact instructions on how to solve them:
To make your website ADA compliant, you need to start with a website audit to evaluate each element on your site and decide whether it meets ADA standards. If not, there are several website accessibility technologies that can be utilized to become compliant. This includes adding a web accessibility interface and tagging elements for screen readers.
Following ADA guidelines during the web design process ensures you’re reducing the risk of ADA-related lawsuits, which can be costly and damage your brand’s reputation. It also means you are joining a movement that aims to create a more accessible world for all, regardless of ability.
For an image to be ADA compliant, it needs to contain ALT text, also known as alternative text. This way, if a user is utilizing a screen reader, the text will describe your image to them. Today’s popular CMS platforms all have an ALT text field for images. It’s also possible to insert alt text directly into your HTML code using the following:
img src="XYZ.png" alt="Apple Tree";
There are 3 different ADA scores, A, AA, and AAA – achieving level AA is what you should aim for. Having an A score means you’ve met the basic ADA requirements. Level AA means you have put some additional measures in place and can cater to a broader range of users. AAA requirements are achievable but not necessary for all sites.
Any display ads on a website also need to meet ADA guidelines. This means all ads should have appropriate ALT text and not contain any media that flashes more than three times per second. Any ads should also be compatible with all keyboard technology.
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