Website Accessibility: Responsible Digital Citizenship
Are you reaching as many prospects and potential influencers as you could?
Your organization may be unknowingly omitting a customer segment from your website because it isn’t accessible, which could result in missed business and possible legal issues.
Nearly 19 percent of the U.S. population has some type of categorized disability, according to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau. This may include visual, hearing, cognitive, and motor skill impairments that make some aspect of engaging with your website challenging. Consider, too, the “unofficially disabled,” like color-blind millennials and baby boomers whose visual acuity is slowly diminishing. All are valuable market segments, or people with a powerful ability to promote your brand.
This is the human aspect of digital commerce, education, and recreation. In today’s online world, acting as a responsible digital citizen means operating inclusively to reach your entire audience.
You may not realize that you aren’t. But barriers may exist in accessing online content, due to website colors, fonts, images, form fields, and buttons that can’t be deciphered, even with audio readers. Consequently, many people aren’t able to participate in surveys, make conversions, or otherwise engage.
Website accessibility solves this issue, by making front and backend improvements to ease all user experiences. This is not just good business–accessibility is recognized as a basic human right, according to the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which provides for equal access to information and communications technologies and systems, regardless of ability.
Today, government agencies, public entities, and other organizations who receive federal funds, laws such as the ADA, Section 504, and Section 508, require compliance with accessibility standards.
Website Accessibility: Communicate Inclusively With Your Audience
Web accessibility is all about designing flexible websites to meet different user needs and situations. Your company may not be required by law to pursue accessibility and achieve compliance, but it’s good business to be proactive. It also better supports current employees and attracts potential employees with disabilities–often recognized as star players on the team.
Site Strategics can be a valuable partner in your web accessibility and compliance efforts. We work with organizations to improve accessibility awareness, helping them by:
Performing a compliance audit on website(s)
Interpreting the results of compliance testing
Remediating your website
Developing both short and long-term accessibility plans
Staying up-to-date on web accessibility standards and guidelines
Our Website Accessibility Audit is based on WCAG 2.0 guidelines. We have a checklist of website accessibility questions that can help you identify immediate issues and develop an interim remediation plan.
We also have a Web Accessibility Checklist that outlines more than 40 functionality improvements for information technology (IT) and user experience (UX) collaboration to maximize your audience outreach and engagement. You can use this website accessibility checklist to help build a long-range plan to embed accessibility in your organization.
A commitment to accessibility begins with a commitment to work closely with professionals who understand the legal obligations of accessibility, nuances of web accessibility compliance, and how to prepare for changes.