Get ADA Web Accessible

WCAG 2.0 and Section 508, ADA Compliance for websites

Most everyone knows what the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is or at least are familiar with the handicap parking spots, the handicap bathrooms, braille on elevator buttons, etc. When a business is having their building built or remodeled, they are trusting their contractor will include the requirements to meet the ADA laws.

Just like their contractor for their building, clients are depending upon you to include all the required necessities on their website beyond design, functionality and SEO. This isn’t a reflection on your capabilities. For many agency owners, designers and developers, website accessibility is a new topic and not in their current skill set.  Most we have spoken with have become aware that accessibility laws apply to website usually when a client informs them their site must be accessible.

Accessibility has a skillset all its own and a learning curve that most agencies do not want to take the time to add or the expense of hiring new staff for auditing and remediating websites. Many are partnering with accessibility experts saving them the time and overhead costs.

Your clients will feel confident their website includes all the accessibility requirements to fulfill the necessary requirements, protect them from possible litigation and offer inclusion to all their target customers and clients.

So the question is…
Why aren’t all websites accessible?

Maybe you are just learning about website accessibility requirements.

Could be your team doesn’t have the knowledge or capability to implement accessibility on your website.

Or you’re just not sure if accessibility laws apply.

Know You Are Partnering With Accessibility Experts

Our auditing team is CPACC certified by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP).  We want to help protect your business from any possible litigation and also help you reach more potential customers and increase your revenue.

Our passion is to help businesses reach more potential disabled client/customers to increase your revenue, protect your business from any possible litigation and help those with disabilities have an equal opportunity to all the great information on the Internet that makes life easier and better.

What is accessibility?

Accessibility is required under 2 different laws:

ADA and The Rehabilitation Act  – both use WCAG Standards

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990, prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of life, including accessibility. With today’s technology, accessibility extends beyond the physical and into the digital. Though the ADA’s specific language requires accessibility for the disables in “places of public accommodation,” it is increasingly understood that this is not limited to physical facilities.

This law is far reaching and touches almost every type of business.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 has two sections that apply to websites: Section 504 applies to schools and organizations who receive federal funding or supply services to those who are under Section 504.   Section 508 applies to government websites.

The WCAG Guidelines are broken down into principles. Within each are requirements based on each principle.

  • Principle 1: Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
  • Principle 2: Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.
  • Principle 3: Understandable – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
  • Principle 4: Robust – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

There are three levels of accessibility: A, AA and AAA.

differently abled

What accessibility isn't.

Accessibility auditing and remediation is not a quick band-aid with a plugin or an overlay on your website.

We realize some businesses will not want to spend the time or investment in obtaining an accessible website and will take the chance of their disabled prospects or users not buying from them. Or would rather take the chance of dodging a law suit.

For those who do not have a large enough stake in their business that a legal complaint or demand letter from the Department of Justice is enough to just shut down the business rather than working to make the website accessible, accessibility auditing and remediation is probably not a good investment for you.

The Accessibility Process

By learning the basic requirements of accessibility, the why it’s necessary and how it’s accomplished, you’ll be able to speak with your client confidently about accessibility. You can articulate how you can assist them and have a new value proposition you can offer your current and prospective clients as well to standout from other proposals by helping the client be proactive or helping them curtail a possible lawsuit.

ADA accessibility a process to determine what accessibility blocks are present through an Accessibility Audit wherein the website is tested both with a scan and also a manual Audit using JAWS screen reader.

Hover over each icon to learn more.

Audit

We work with you to determine the pages within the website to be audited. An audit is done both with an accessibility scanning tool and manually using a JAWS screenreader. By performing the audit in this manner, you’re assured all issues are uncovered even those that cannot be found with a scan. See a sample Accessibility Audit Report. 

Remediate

Remediation of the errors is the next step.  Using the Accessibility Audit Report  either your team or ours will add the needed coding and other changes required.

Confirmation

After remediation, a follow-up audit on the pages we identified during the initial audit can be completed.

Document Remediation

Documents such as PDFs, or any other document provided on a website must also be accessible. The documents are audited to review the size and complexity in order to accurately provide a cost to remediate the current documents.

VPAT

Certification and VPAT are provided when a website is fully accessible.

Accessibility Assurance

Accessibility Assurance Program is the engine that will monitor your now accessible website, send monthly reporting and can include regularly scheduled audits and updated VPAT as required.

We partner with agencies to help them help their clients be within the accessibility laws, reach all their market, and forego possible law suits.

It’s a win-win for everyone.

An accessible website gives those with disabilities full access to the Internet  to buy products, apply for a job, pay their utility bills, take an online course and any other functionality that most people take for granted.

It’s very satisfying to witness the many businesses and schools we’ve helped reach ADA accessibility as they make a difference in people with disabilities lives.  No matter if they are  in a current legal matter for non-accessibility,  or wanting to be being proactive to avoid litigation or  just doing the right thing, we were there to assist.

I get it. I'm disabled and a business owner

In 2007, I suddenly lost hearing in my right ear from something called Sudden Nerve Hearing Loss. Not long after, hearing in my left ear started declining and I was diagnosed with Menier’s Disease, which steadily gets worse over time, causes vertigo and tinnitus. Fun times.  I have lost almost all hearing in both my ears and require a hearing aid and closed caption phone to communicate.

With the profound hearing loss, I started realizing the frustrations those with disabilities were experiencing when trying to access information on the Internet. I get it. Even with the assistive technology of the hearing aids, I still cannot hear audio on videos on the web.  So many people do not add captioning on their videos, which makes it impossible for me to watch and I do some pretty bad lip syncing.

By utilizing my 19 years of web development and marketing experience, I expanded my web development knowledge to include WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards for ADA and the Rehabilitation Act through extensive accessibility training and hands-on assisting clients.

An accessible website gives those with disabilities full access to the Internet  to buy products, apply for a job, pay their utility bills, take an online course and any other functionality that most people take for granted.

A few of the questions we have received about ADA and accessibility are below.

If I just add alt tags to images, will I be accessible?

Alt tags on images is a small part of accessibility. Knowing which images require them, which ones should not have alt. WCAG 2.0 is the International standard for ADA, and Section 508 and has over 50 requirements to be met.

I've seen plugins and overlays other offer, is that all I need?

Automated scan tools and accessibility overlay tools are great tools to start with. To fully audit and be fully accessible, a manual audit using the assistive devices disabled persons use, such as a JAWS screen reader, must be performed. This reviews the use of the website for those who only use a keyboard, or voiceover, head and mouth pointers or other assistive devices. Additionally, documents such as PDFs must be accessible. A manual audit of the documents is required.  There are other requirements to be met such as adding your accessibility policy to your website and a way for those who have an accessibility compliant to contact you.

Our developer doesn’t know WCAG 2.0 requirements, can you help our team so we can become accessible?

WCAG 2.0 has over 50 standards in four section – Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust.  There are four different levels of compliance, A, AA, and AAA.  It’s a huge amount of specialized knowledge needed.  Most developers we’ve talked to do not have the needed knowledge nor time to learn it all. Most agencies don’t want to add the overhead of having an accessibility expert on staff and would rather partner with an expert who can work with their design and development team providing auditing and reporting on the accessibility errors on the website and providing the needed code to remediate them if needed.

Can accessible websites still look appealing?

Of course!  A lot of what is needed for a website to be accessible is done behind the scenes.  There are things your designer should be aware of when making color and text choices so there is enough contrast. But for the most part, unless a person is utilizing the accessibility features, the changes will not be seen by those who are not using assistive technologies.

Disabled people are not part of our client's target market.

There are over 60 million people in the United States who have a disability. They are spending over $15 billion on products and services across the Internet.  The chances that yours is one of these is pretty high. A study shows that 71% of disabled customers with access needs will click off a website they find difficult to use. Show them you value them and their business by providing barrier-free website experience.

My client is only only, do the ADA laws apply?

The ADA defines a website as operating “a place of public accommodation.” There are 12 different types of public accommodations this statue lists but the one that encompasses most websites is “other sales or rental establishment.”  When the statute was passed in 1988, the Internet was not what it is today.  If you have a brick and mortar store, your website is an extension of that store and so are the requirements. For those who do not, your still under the ADA because of the way the guidelines were originally written to include a reasonable accommodation. The law suit against Blue Apron.com and NetFlix illustrates this ruling.

Price is not always the determining factor.

Those with accessibility needs are spending their money on websites,
but choose to spend their money on websites that are accessible and easier for them to use.

0
%
of customers who had accessibility needs said they would spend more time on a site if it were more accessible.
0
%
with accessibility needs will click off a website if they find it difficult to use.
$
0
billion
estimated spending power of customers who clicked off the website

Get Accessible – Increase Revenue – Provide Independence – Stay within the Law

getADAAccessible is here to help make the web accessible

Schedule a time to discuss your needs. We will review your options and give a clear, no strings attached assessment of your website’s accessibility.

We can work with you, your internal IT professionals or your legal counsel to make sure that all stakeholders understand the requirements of full digital inclusion for those who are sight impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, or who have physical limitations that prevent them from navigating your site, and to ensure that this diverse demographic of potential customers have access to all of the products, information, and resources that you offer.

Let’s all do the right thing and include everyone.