Are you solely interested in checking off boxes?
What exactly are your objectives?
When addressing the accessibility of your websites, is your intention primarily to meet specific criteria? How many criteria are you aiming to satisfy?
This isn't meant to be a loaded question, but it's typically one of the first I pose.
I frequently receive inquiries from organizations and businesses seeking assistance with their digital accessibility, often concerning their websites, although occasionally it pertains to other digital assets like customer portals or online training platforms.
Let's start tallying...
The initial benchmark typically revolves around achieving WCAG AA compliance. In case you're unfamiliar, this is widely recognized as the baseline standard websites should strive to meet and is the minimum requirement set by the UK government for public sector websites.
That counts as 1 criterion.
However, in order to attain WCAG AA compliance, you must also meet the criteria for WCAG A. So that's 2 criteria.
What about a specific assessment for screen reader compatibility? After all, individuals who rely on screen readers require websites to be accessible to them. So, that's 3 criteria, but can we add 2 more?
Consider coding standards as well. If your website doesn't adhere to a well-defined, measurable coding standard, it can impact its functionality on various devices and browsers. This, too, is an accessibility concern. That's 4 criteria.
There are also standards that search engines anticipate. If your website doesn't meet these standards, it might not be as discoverable. This, in turn, is also an accessibility issue. We're now at 5 criteria.
And the list goes on!
What about criteria related to the experiences of actual disabled individuals using your website? Meeting these standards can be essential because, even if you appear to meet formal criteria, your website might still not be truly accessible. We might be looking at a multitude of additional criteria.
However, instead of viewing this as an overwhelming task, why not consider it an opportunity to do things the right way and truly understand what needs to be accomplished?
Even if some of these issues might require significant time or resources to resolve, by including them all in your website's accessibility statement, you can engage in an open and transparent dialogue with your website's visitors, which they will undoubtedly appreciate.
Caption: 3 large white ticks, each sitting in a large box, represents the importance of achieving high accessibility standards
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