September 23, 2020 | Martin Sherwood
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
Web Accessibility is the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites by people with disabilities.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a set of standards from the Worldwide Web Consortium (WC3), are the standard for digital accessibility. Laws and regulations related to digital accessibility are based on WCAG, so complying with them is important from a legal standpoint.
Early in 2019 the non-profit organisation WebAim evaluated the home pages of 1,000,000 websites to find accessibility issues. 97.8% of these had detectable WCAG failures. Most errors fell into these categories:
- Low contrast text
- Missing alternative text for images
- Empty links and buttons
- Missing form input labels
- Missing document language
- Tab order
All these avoidable violations can be combatted with a few simple steps being built into your development workflow:
- Make digital accessibility a priority from the outset
- Do manual checks and testing on a regular basis
- Implement automated testing procedures to pick up on common errors and pitfalls before they are deployed
- Consult experts
Everyone should be able to use any website on the internet.