Follow Our Accessibility Checklists: A Fine Place To Start
As a society, we love checklists. We gravitate towards clear guidelines on what we should and shouldn’t do when trying to achieve our goals. From 5 Ways to Lose Weight Fast to 5 Things to Do in the Morning to Be Productive All Day, checklists help us simplify our life. So, why not use a website accessibility checklist when trying to make our websites more accessible according to the current standards of ADA, W3C & Section 508 compliance?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a set of straightforward instructions that tell us exactly what needs to be done to help our websites reach the 20% of the American population with disabilities?
But here’s the deal: when it comes to topics like web accessibility, there’s no perfect checklist.
What You Need to Understand About Accessibility Checklists for ADA, W3C & Section 508 Compliance
Because accessibility is not a simple subject, it’s not easy to break down into simple steps.
The best protocols when it comes to web accessibility are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. These are technical guidelines which explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. But even these are complex. There are innumerable standards that can be interpreted and applied in different way. Checklists that attempt to breakdown these guidelines are helpful, but not fully sufficient.
But it is important to apply as many of the suggested rules as possible. Doing so will help you begin the process of ensuring that your brand’s digital properties are accessible to the 1 in 5 individuals with disabilities.
Where to Start
So how do you know where to start? How do you know which guidelines apply to your website and digital environments?
The best first step you can take is to reach out to to someone who knows what they’re doing when it comes to web accessibility. By partnering with a company that focuses on web accessibility, like TOBEADACOMPLIANT Web Solutions, you can make sure your website doesn’t discriminate, follows the law and reaches as many people as possible – no checklist needed.
Go Beyond The Accessibility Checklist
Checklists are valuable for learning about Web Accessibility Basics and that’s where they stop. Ensure you have achieved compliance by contacting the experts.
Getting Started with a Web Accessibility Checklist
If you do want to get started on your own, here are some categories of common accessibility considerations to make – this is a high-level outline of steps that should be included.
It is Wise to Seek Out Additional Expertise
But there are also downsides to web accessibility checklists for ADA, WCAG & Section 508 compliance for websites. Even after everything we covered, we’ve by no means addressed all the WCAG Guidelines.
Making your website accessible for those with disabilities is not a simple step-by-step process. Just because you’ve covered all the categories listed above does not mean you’ve removed all barriers from your website. And you might have noticed that some of the requirements are a little confusing. That’s where we come in.
Find the Right Partner for your Organization
If you’re worried your site has accessibility issues, reach out to us today. TOBEADACOMPLIANT Web Solutions specializes in providing complete web accessibility consulting services. We’ve been consulting in this field for over a decade, so we know our stuff. Let us be your checklist. Consulting with an expert and working with them to identify the unique needs of your industry, your website and your customers is the only way to ensure you’re meeting all the correct guidelines. This serves as evidence that you are working towards providing a website that is accessible to everyone.
So add one more item to the bottom of your checklist: Call TOBEADACOMPLIANT Web Solutions today. (Check!)
Your Website is At Risk, Now What?
If you are at risk, the important thing to do is not to hesitate. The time to take action is now! Especially if your organization is a public school or university, or a state government institution.
For these types of organizations, WCAG compliance is a legal requirement, so quick action is essential to keeping your organization or business afloat. If you wait to address these issues, you run the risk of receiving a letter of complaint or finding yourself at the wrong end of a lawsuit.
Risk Can Be Managed
Not only does a letter of complaint or lawsuit require you to deal with potentially long and costly litigation proceedings, but you also run the risk of damage to your organization’s reputation. Many consumers utilize the Internet forum to write blogs and submit reviews. All it takes is the click of a button and you could find yourself facing instant negative press. Word can quickly spread to other individuals with disabilities, costing your business potential customers, as well as a tarnished reputation.
It’s important to realize that by having a website that is not in compliance with WCAG standards, not only are you violating the right of those with disabilities to have equal access to services and products but it could also lead to a loss of business. If someone finds themselves unable to access your website, they won’t be coming back.
Choose the Right Partner
By working with your team, TOBEADACOMPLIANT Web Solutions will create work assignments and timelines to meet website compliance. This corrective action plan can also be presented to help alleviate litigation, should you find yourself in the midst of a complaint or lawsuit.
By addressing accessibility issues once you are made aware of them, you can reduce the negative effects on your business. The number of web accessibility lawsuits has continued to rise in recent years, so just because you haven’t been faced with a letter or lawsuit yet, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.
Next Steps To Take
Contact TOBEADACOMPLIANT Web Solutions today to allow us to assist you in mitigating your risk, protecting both your assets and your professional reputation, by creating accessibility policies and programs.
Our team can make sure that accessibility is done right the first time and we can educate you on techniques to keep you up-to-date with the latest accessibility trends. This way, we can keep your risk level low and create a positive online experience for everyone who visits your website.