With the recent explosion of litigation for websites that present barriers to access, it is becoming more important every day for organizations to conduct a deep dive audit on their website to ensure Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 compliance
Once that audit is complete, working with quality website accessibility consulting services is a critical next step.
What the Law Says About Website Accessibility
In March of 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a document containing standards for website accessibility compliance. While this document helped clear up and alleviate some confusion around accessibility standards, there are still a few areas that the DOJ left up to interpretation.
What the document does clearly state is that an accessible website should have the following:
- High-contrast design
- Alt text and text alternatives
- Captions on videos
- Both keyboard and mouse navigation options
- Accessible forms
While these recommendations are all useful, they simply do not cover all of the necessary accessibility requirements that an organization could still get sued for if an individual believes that they do not have equal access to a website or other piece of technology.
One of the DOJ’s most recent recommendations is to check out WCAG standards and guidelines. WCAG is not a government agency or “official” authority on accessibility. However, the government and disability advocates often use their guidelines as a standard to measure against.
Steps for Improving Website Accessibility
The first step you will need to take if you already have a website is to perform an audit. We do not recommend relying solely on an automated audit process. These audits may catch the most obvious issues, but there are some things that only a human eye will catch.
A company that offers national website accessibility consulting services will go through your website from top to bottom, combing through all of the design, content, and features on the site to ensure that it meets WCAG standards, going above and beyond DOJ requirements.
Once the audit is complete, it is important to act on recommendations, whether that means changing the site in-house or working with a web design firm that can take care of the changes for you.
You may also choose to use an accessibility tool that works on a browser level. Just make sure that you know exactly what that tool covers versus what you will need to ensure is hard-coded into your website.
Applied Development Offers National Website Accessibility Consulting Services
All technology should be accessible for people with diversabilities. Everyone has a right to equal communication access, which is why accessibility consulting services are so important. Our expert team here at Applied Development can work with you to review your organization’s technology and ensure that you are offering the necessary tools for accessibility.
If you are not sure if your website is up to code, give us a call at 410.571.4016 or reach out on the website.