WCAG & ADA Website Compliance
As our world continues to trend digitally, more business is found, secured, and conducted online. To maximize the value of your company’s web presence, your website should be built with a focus on accessibility.
The industry authority resource on the topic is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Choosing to follow the guidelines outlined in WCAG 2.1 can help provide a better user experience for your customers.
Introducing WCAG 2.0/2.1
WCAG 2.0 is a technical standard created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) which is an international community that develops open standards for the internet. WCAG 2.1 is a standard made of twelve guidelines under four principles:
- Perceivable – Web content is made available to the senses - sight, hearing, and/or touch
- Operable – Interface forms, controls, and navigation are operable
- Understandable – Content and interface are understandable
- Robust – Content can be used reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies
For each guideline, there are testable success criteria, which are categorized in three levels: A, AA, and AAA. Level A is the minimum, with AA and AAA adding additional enhancements for hearing and visually-impaired users.
Why Should You Consider Website Accessibility?
In the interest of making the Internet a better, more accessible place for all users, regardless of impairment, website accessibility should be a high priority for many reasons, including:
Ease Legal Risks — Nearly 20 lawsuits regarding website accessibility were brought to federal courtrooms in the U.S. during 2018 alone. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t specify websites as a place of business; however, an increasing number of lawsuits have been filed against companies that don’t have accessible websites. We suggest taking action to prevent litigation by addressing accessibility issues on your website, maintaining an accessibility statement, and providing options for users to contact you when they encounter issues on your website.
Improve Website Performance — Making accessibility updates on your website can have a positive impact on overall performance, including usability and search engine optimization (SEO). Adding alternative text (aka “alt text”) to your photos, for example, helps individuals with visual impairments understand the images on your website. This also ensures search engines recognize the purpose of your content, helping your overall SEO performance.
Reach a Wider Audience — By ignoring website accessibility best practices, you may be missing out on the nearly 20% of users who have a disability. Adhering to website accessibility best practices and providing easy access to information about your property ensures all visitors have a good user experience.
Stand Out From Your Competition — If a potential renter can’t understand the content on your website, they will likely move on to another property in the area. Ensuring your website meets these guidelines helps your property stand out from local competitors who have yet to invest in website accessibility.
Show Your Customers You Care — Take the steps to make your website more accessible and show your customers you care. You’ll reach a wider audience with a website that communicates your focus on providing a positive experience to your customers.
Ensure Your Website Meets Accessibility Standards
Website accessibility isn’t just about avoiding potential legal issues, though lawsuits are on the rise. Providing a positive user experience for all customers is good for business and good for increasing the accessibility of the Internet at large. CreateOnline provides guidance to help you understand how various elements on your website may impact accessibility. Even minor updates to images and text can impact website accessibility.Schedule a strategy session with CreateOnline to learn more about website accessibility.