Understanding Web Accessibility Standards for Your Business
Web accessibility standards do not just benefit the individuals with disabilities who visit your website. Becoming ADA compliant by taking steps towards accessibility standards has a benefit for all users and your website as a whole. World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has found that “accessibility overlaps with other best practices such as mobile web design, device independence, multi-modulation interaction, usability, design for older users, and search engine optimization (SEO). Case studies show that accessible websites have better search results, reduced maintenance costs, and increased audience reach, among other benefits1.”
Five ways to make your website meet web accessibility standards immediately, from Accessible 3602.
- Can your users call you? For websites that incorporate a process to order or sign up for an event, which is not typically available by phone, set up a hotline for these action-oriented processes. Provide users with a way to call to register for an event or to place an online order over the phone. Make sure that the phone number is listed prominently on the website and a member of your team is readily available to take the call.
- Are you answering your emails? The phone is a great way to incorporate web accessibility standards; however, it does exclude a large class of users. For example, users that are deaf require another option. It is important to have members of your team not only available by phone but also by email. Set up an email response center for inquiries that come through your site via email.
- Do you use static information on your site, such as a restaurant menu, product catalog, and/or printable resources? In addition to having an image or just text, have someone read the menu into an mp3 file. This audible content can be posted as a link within the site so that users can read and listen to the content contained within the static image.
- Does your site use ADA standards for accessible design? If your site is not currently ADA compliant and accessible to all users, your current design and web accessibility standards might not be in agreement with one another. Recreating or redesigning your site could take hours, days or even months. In order to make your content meet web accessibility guidelines, think about creating a “fast page” that is linked from the homepage of the website. A “fast page” would provide an accessible version of the content while the design is being remediated for accessibility. Create a page within your website that is fully ADA compliant which incorporates WCAG standards, while the rest of your website is in the transition phase for compliance.
- Are your users localized in one organization or within a small geographic area? If this is the case, consider delivering the content in braille or other accessible media in a physical format while your website and its web accessibility standards are being remediated.
These five tips will help your site achieve website accessibility standards in the short run, but you should consider a long-term plan for implementing all web accessibility standards. Creating an ADA compliant website design should be a priority for any business – but don’t let the web accessibility standards overwhelm you. Contact us today and we’ll help you get your site on track to WCAG standards of compliance.