Has your leadership or auditor inquired about your site's ADA adherance? It’s not the kind of question you want to respond to with a deer-in-headlights look. It’s quick and easy to perform an initial audit to see if you’re at risk for a lawsuit, some bad PR, or simply being guilty of under-serving certain audience groups.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.
The WCAG documents explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. That content essentially consists of natural information such as text, images, and sounds, as well as code or markup that defines structure, presentation, etc.
WCAG 2.0 is the latest technical standard. It has 12 guidelines that are organized under 4 principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. For each guideline, there are testable success criteria, which are at three levels: A, AA, and AAA.
What to Do
There are numerous free and subscription services that will run an automated check on your website to identify any obvious issues. However, the findings from these systems commonly leave you with a list of violations that you neither understand, nor have any idea how to resolve. Creation Chamber is one of many companies that provide a free website ADA compliance audit with a personal review to explain the findings with your team. This audit also comes with recommended options for resolution of any problem areas.
If your site has a few, relatively minor issues, resolution can be as simple as having an internal or external web developer update those areas of your website. But when the issues are numerous and varied, it may be smarter to consider a complete website redesign. This is especially attractive if it’s been more than 3-5 years since your last redesign because it provides a great opportunity to resolve other issues that may have built up as technologies have evolved.
In any case, it’s paramount that you check your website without delay. Within a week, you’ll know if you’re even at risk. And if you are, you’ll have your options presented so that you can carefully consider the best path for your organization.