Website Accessibility Compliance
August 3, 2017
When building your website, the focus is typically on attractive design and user-friendly functionality. Has accessibility crossed your mind?
Section 508 of the U.S. Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandates that all electronic and information technology developed or used by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) sets the standards through the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), outlining specific techniques and levels for compliance.
As website accessibility becomes a focus for many organizations, the team at HighRock has committed to growing our expertise and establishing our own best practices, expanding our services to include accessibility compliance consulting for our clients. Our technology team is well-versed in compliance standards, and can not only ensure that your website follows best practices, but train website managers to maintain their target level of compliance.
WHAT EXACTLY DOES “ACCESSIBILITY COMPLIANCE” MEAN FOR A WEBSITE?
The goal of accessibility is ensuring the website “is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability,” according to the W3C website. Some users with disabilities may need to use a screen reader. Others may have trouble guiding the mouse due to physical issues. While there are specific requirements based on the various levels of compliance, some overall guidelines are:
- Providing text alternatives for non-text content through photo captions, transcripts for audio files, etc.
- Making it easier for users to see and hear content with color contrast, text resizing options, controls to pause or stop audio, or volume control
- Ensuring all functionality can be achieved using the keyboard
- Simplifying navigation and offering various ways to find information
- Giving users sufficient time to read or use the content; not rotating photos and captions too quickly or no flashing content, for example
HOW CAN HIGHROCK HELP?
Accessibility compliance will be a multi-step process requiring ongoing maintenance by your website manager or compliance consultant.
As the first step, HighRock will conduct an audit to determine your website’s current level of accessibility. Once our team understands your needs and your desired level of compliance, we will perform a comprehensive review of the site and detail the current level of accessibility, outline the necessary action for implementation, and advise on best practices for ongoing maintenance.
We’ll use the findings to address issues within the website and provide training for your website manager(s) to ensure best practices are used consistently when content, images, and documents are implemented on the site.