What Is Website Accessibility?
Accessibility involves addressing a wide range of permanent and temporary disabilities — including visual, auditory, physical, neurological disabilities and others.
However, website accessibility refers to when websites and web tools are designed in such a way that people with disabilities, changing capabilities, or restrictions, like slower network connectivity, loud work environments, or mobile device users, can use them like anyone else.
Designing your organization’s website with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) in mind will make your website more usable for everyone.
WCAG is based on four principles known as POUR: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.
Principle 1. Perceivable
The information and content on your website must be presented in a way that makes it easy for users to see and understand.
Principle 2. Operable
People have to be able to engage with your website without any restrictions — it can’t require any interaction that a user might not be able to perform.
Principle 3. Understandable
The information on your website must be easy to understand and users must be able to understand how to use and navigate the website.
Principle 4. Robust
Your website must be robust enough that it can be used by a variety of technologies, whether that’s different browsers or assistive technology. Your website must also remain accessible for users to use as technologies and assistive technologies evolve.
What is WCAG?
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, also known as WCAG, were created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web, to set internationally recognized web content standards that provide “a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.”
The latest guideline update, WCAG 2.2, is expected for publication by September 2022. It lists standards that provide more accessibility to a wider range of people with disabilities and enhance accessibility for people using desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile devices.
As a business owner or person in charge of an organization’s online presence, you know that a website is a critical component to meeting your goals.
A website allows visitors, current and potential customers, to learn about your organization and what it offers, so it should be informative, appealing, and accessible to every visitor — which means its content currently meets or exceeds the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
At Vincent Design, our web development team is made up of accessibility experts ready to provide you with a website for your business or organization in compliance with WCAG.
Why should your website be accessible?
Depending on your business or organization, you could be required by law to ensure your website and web application tools are WCAG compliant, especially if it falls under the umbrella of government.
However, organizations not required to comply with WCAG may choose to do so to lessen the risk of being sued by someone who uses their website.
By ensuring that websites are accessible, and adhering to the latest WCAG standards, business and organization leaders reduce the risk of legal costs, including potential fines up to $250,000.
Whether it’s required for your organization’s website to meet the requirements depends on various factors:
- Size of your business/number of employees
- Where your business is established
- Country-wide or provincial-wide organization
- Public or private business
Our 3-Step Process:
Web Accessibility Testing, Remediation, and Maintenance.
We work with clients to provide them with a website that meets the accessibility standards according to regulations in their area — whether it’s by creating a new website or assessing and upgrading a current site using our three-step process: accessibility testing, remediation, maintenance.
- Accessibility Testing
We’ll use our suite of web accessibility tools to conduct a thorough accessibility audit. From this, we will be able to determine whether your website needs a few adjustments or a complete redesign to ensure it meets the appropriate accessibility requirements in your area.
- Accessibility Remediation
The second step of our process is remediation. We’ll create a plan outlining what changes need to be made to get your website WCAG-compliant, and how to make those changes.
- Accessibility Maintenance
The last step of our process is maintenance. We’ll continue to work with you as partners in keeping your website up to date on accessibility standards.
Learn more about the latest accessibility requirements in our blog post.