Website Accessibility 101, Your Buyers Guide

4 pictures surrounding a computer, eye, ear, brain and touch
Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

The guidelines and Success Criteria are organized around the following 4 principles, which lay the foundation necessary for anyone to access and use Web content.

Anyone or business that has a website must adhere to the following 4 WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) Accessibility principles to be compliant: Principle 1: PERCEIVABLE Typography, Images, Audio, and Video. Principle 2: OPERABLE Interfaces and Navigation, Keyboard Navigation, Progressive Enhancement Principle 3: UNDERSTANDABLE Be Simple and Explicit, Avoid Assumptions Principle 4: ROBUST Semantic Markup, Responsive Design Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including:
  • auditory
  • cognitive
  • neurological
  • physical
  • speech
  • visual

There are multiple levels of accessibility standards:

A, AA and AAA. It’s not possible to “partially” meet a WCAG level. You either do or you don’t. For most sites, the Federal and State courts recommend level AA compliance.

Checking Your Website against WCAG standards:

ADA WebGuard offers an automated free web page accessibility scan meant to help companies and web developers improve user experience on their websites.

WCAG Compliance Checklist:

To achieve full compliance with your website, ADA WebGuard recommends conducting both 1. Automated Testing and 2. Manual Auditing using all WCAG AA Success Criteria. WCAG 2.0 & 2.1 has a total of 78 Success Criteria 1. ADA WebGuard’s Automated Testing platform: Automated tests are essential when evaluating your website for ADA non-compliant accessibility errors on a technical level, and are especially important when developing, remediating, and/or maintaining a website. Automated testing alerts you to errors like:
  • FORM FIELDS: Automated tests make sure that all entry fields have labels.
  • COLOR: Automated tests verify that color combinations in a text are used appropriately.
  • LINKS: Automated testing quickly determines that all links are functioning as they are supposed to.
2. ADA WebGuard’s Manual Testing platform:  Our Manual testing allows for our team of TRAINED and CERTIFIED PROFESSIONALS to evaluate your website for ADA non-compliant Critical Accessibility Failures. Manual testing evaluates websites without using a mouse simulating a disabled user. We use a combination of keyboard-only interactions, screen readers that convert text to spoken audio, and web browser plug-ins to determine the accessibility of your website. While automated testing accounts for some of the WCAG 2.1 criteria, manual testing accounts for Critical Accessibility Failures that Automated software can’t, like:
  • SKIP TO MAIN CONTENT LINK: This prevents users from having to go through your entire navigation over and over again just to get to the main content of your page.
  • PAGE TITLES: Page titles are what is visible in tabs or bookmarks and should be appropriate to the page content.
  • HEADINGS: Headings accurately describe the content.
If your website is not accessible, your business is missing a large portion of its online audience:  Approximately 1 in 5 people in the United States, or 64 million, identify as individuals with disabilities, according to the American Institutes for Research. If you are not making your web content fully accessible, you are potentially missing out on 20% of your audience. Worldwide, businesses are missing out on approximately 1 billion people who, depending on their abilities, may not be able to buy their product, book a vacation, enjoy their video, navigate their website, read their documents, make reservations, and more. By making your website accessible and opening your content to this huge percentage of the population, your business is certain to improve. For more information on Website Accessibility, you can visit ADA WebGuard’s website or call Garett Grabarnick at 833-232-9321