WEB DEVELOPMENT – ACCESSIBILITY FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED
WCAG2.1 GUIDELINES – WHY YOU NEED TO MEET THEM
- Creating a website that is accessible to all can have many benefits. For people with disabilities, it’s important (and the law) that they have the same access as those without disabilities. No matter what type of disability a person has, they legally need to have access to the same kind of technology that a person without disabilities has.
- Not having an accessible site can expose your company to litigation. The number of Title III lawsuits directed at inaccessible websites are on the rise. Of the 2,258 lawsuits filed last year, 1,565 alone were filed in New York State. While meeting WCAG accessibility guidelines won’t guarantee your website is shielded from litigation or fines, the more you make your website accessible, the better.
Making your website accessible also makes it a more user-friendly site for all visitors. This can help improve your SEO, profits, and will make your users happy when they are on the site.
- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international organization that develops web standards, created the World Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
WCAG Compliance is divided into three conformance levels (A-AA-AAA) which are organized based on the impact they have on design or visual presentation of the pages. IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT THE HIGHER THE LEVEL, THE MORE RESTRAINING IT BECOMES ON DESIGN. It is certainly true that the more A’s the harder it is to achieve, but conversely the more people who are likely to benefit.
- (A) is viewed as the minimum level of requirement which all websites, apps and electronic content such as documents should adhere to.
- (AA) is viewed as the acceptable level of accessibility for many online services which should work with most assistive technology which is now widely available on both desktop and mobile devices, or which can be purchased as a third-party installation.
- (AAA) compliance is viewed as the gold standard level of accessibility, which provides everything for a complete accessible offering, including all the bells and whistles which make the difference between a very good experience and an excellent one.
In addition to the best practices we follow and providing features such as “fly out” menus (pop out where users can adjust text size, color, etc.) we run web pages through our own internal checklist and Google Lighthouse. In order to increase compliance with WCAG 2.1, ATAG 2.0, ADA & Section 508 requirements we won’t consider the website complete until it passes. There are more than 75 metrics tested. The following is a sample of the metrics:
- Performance– time to interactive, latency, speed index, resources optimization, TTFB, asset delivery, scripts execution time, DOM size, etc.
- SEO– Mobile friendly, meta, crawling, canonical, structure, etc.
- Best Practices– Image optimization, JS libraries, browser error logging, accessible over HTTPS, known JS vulnerabilities, etc.
- Accessibility – Page elements, language, ARIA attributes, etc.
- PWA(Progressive Web Application) – redirect HTTP to HTTPS, response code ok, fast loading on 3G, splash screen, viewport, etc.
What options for sight accessibility does Marketing Tech offer when building a website and what does it cost?
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Usability Testing Services
In addition to our website accessibility enhancements listed above, the following Usability Tests are available:
Website Evaluation and Testing: In conjunction with My Blind Spot, a NY City based non-profit organization that provides resources to empower the blind towards independence and inclusion, Marketing Tech provides Usability Testing. Testing relies on individuals with disabilities to provide real-world feedback from end users. This hands-on approach allows us to compile and prioritize data, ensuring accessibility and usability of your digital platforms, reducing risk to litigation.
JAWS screen reader testing: Usability Tests where visually impaired users check the UX pathways from landing pages through to website exit with JAWS screen readers can be done by our partners at Olmsted Center for Sight in Buffalo NY. Olmsted can provide video of users’ findings which can be utilized by customers or Marketing Tech to adjust in order to provide JAWS users a better experience, increase compliance and reduce risk to litigation.
Note: Meeting WCAG accessibility guidelines and Marketing Tech won’t guarantee your website is shielded from litigation or fines. However, the more you make your website accessible, the better for compliance and for the users of your site.