Implementing The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Having an inclusive website is crucial if you wish to communicate, engage and convert all of your potential leads into customers. That’s why The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or shortly WCAG was created. As an important asset for companies and everyone else who wants to make their website accessible to all people, this step-by-step guide provides explanations on how to make your digital content accessible to users with limitations and disabilities.
This article will provide you with all the information about the ADA compliance checklist for websites so you can convert your website into a more inclusive online place where all of the members of your target audience will feel welcome and, more importantly, easily find the information they are looking for.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Requirements
Once you take the first look, you will notice that this document offers an exhaustive list of digital elements that might be barriers for people with limitations or disabilities. These guidelines are addressing common issues that prevent users from accessing digital platforms, and as they do not affect everyone, sometimes it’s difficult to detect their existence on your website.
Once the company or organization focuses more on accessibility in web design, people with limitations or disabilities will definitely notice an improved experience once those barriers are eliminated. These guidelines cover a tremendous amount of success criteria for achieving compliance.
A prerecorded and live video that has audio content should have captions. This will allow your users who have a hearing limitation or disability can easily understand the information shared through audio, including dialogue and sound effects.
A prerecorded audio content file will also require a written transcript if you wish to have an accessible website. This feature will not only help those with hearing limitations and disabilities, but it will also be useful to those who wish to listen to an audio file, but cannot turn the sound on due to whatever reason.
Also, your images should have descriptive alternative text, also known as alt text, so users with vision limitations or disabilities can have an appropriate description of the image provided on your website.
The text you are adding to your website needs to be realizable without any disruptions when people are accessing and using your website. This way, you are ensuring that those users with vision limitations or disabilities can access the information on your website without any issues.
If you’re using forms on your website, make sure none of them have a time limit. If you need to have a time limit due to a certain reason, provide an option for an extended, lengthy time limit so you don’t exclude a portion of your users who will need more time to fill any of your form-entry tasks.
Any header, footer, sidebars, and web pages will need to appear in the same places across the entire website so users can always know where to find them regardless of the page they are currently on. For instance, you cannot change your sidebar from left to right and confusing your users this way when they change pages. The same goes for the navigation, if it’s being on the top, it needs to stay on the top of each page.
More importantly, users will need to be able to navigate the website without using a mouse. They should be able to use the ‘’tab’’ on their keyboard to progress through any web page.
Your entire website needs to use a proper heading structure that is also leveled the right way, so your users can easily use their screen readers and navigate the site. This is equally important for your designers and developers as it is for your writers who are publishing content on your blog. Make sure everyone understands the importance of a heading structure and improve how your users consume your content that way.
You’ll probably stumble upon many regulations and other terms when looking into ways to make your website more inclusive. One of the terms that will appear quite often in the website accessibility terminology is VPAT accessibility. A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, or shortly VPAT, is a document that helps companies and organizations with a comprehensive analysis of their conformance to all the accessibilities standards mentioned above.
While talking about standards, it’s important to know that WCAF is universally accepted and adopted. So, no matter from which place in the world you are creating your website or running your business, these guidelines will equally help those in the USA, Australia, Europe, or any other place on the planet.
However, even with these guidelines and all the tools available, the majority of websites still contain barriers. That’s why it’s vital to understand WCAG and learn how to implement these guidelines onto your digital platform to ensure that every element on it is accessible to those who have limitations or disabilities.
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