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How Do I Make My Website Accessible?

Mar 2, 2021

Making your website accessible to people with disabilities is one of the best ways to improve usability, brand perception, and inclusion. But how do you make your website accessible? What are the proven steps to actually make it happen?

  1. Get a full manual and automated audit.
  2. Remediate all accessibility violations.
  3. Perform ongoing monitoring and maintenance.
  4. Require all future content to be accessible.

Get a full manual and automated audit

Your road to accessibility compliance may include tapping into various tools and services to help you learn more and even get started on your own.

When you're ready to achieve, maintain, and prove digital compliance, that process has to be rooted in a team of experts performing a full WCAG 2.1 A/AA audit. We believe our TruAccessTM audit using our four-point hybrid testing provides the best path forward.

  1. First, we perform automated testing on our powerful analysis platform, which scans a website for accessibility compliance against hundreds of carefully-crafted rules. Issues and recommendations are logged, and the feedback generated includes specific remediation suggestions.
  2. Next, a manual tester with a visual disability uses assistive technology to test each page in scope, as well as each custom use case. As everyday assistive technology users, they provide expertise that can't be matched by a machine.
  3. Then, a fully-sighted subject matter expert (SME) performs a complete second round of manual testing. This adds an element of checks and balances as well as the unique qualifications of our SMEs, as they have extensive accessibility and business knowledge.
  4. Finally, a senior developer reviews the testing performed so far and finalizes comprehensive reports. Results are prioritized and organized to give clarity and direction to the teams interpreting and working on the accessibility updates. 

Remediate all accessibility violations

Uncovering the issues is the first step, but the work isn't done just yet.

All of the violations that fall under WCAG 2.1 A/AA will need to be prioritized and corrected. Fixing some issues can be as simple as making a quick color change to improve contrast; others may need more technical guidance or content planning.

Our multiple reports contain a lot of detailed guidance, providing real recommendations based on the actual content and coding of your website. You'll also have access to our team for technical consultation, help with project management for staged implementations, and other options for live and help desk support.

Perform ongoing monitoring and maintenance

A common and unfortunate web accessibility myth is that accessibility is a one-time fix. In reality, and just like everything else in business, it requires monitoring and maintenance.

To help with this, we recommend:

  • Building self-sufficiency. Our detailed Developer's Guide organizes remediation suggestions into six categories and to help your developers learn how to address specific content types. Self-paced training is also a great way to learn at your team's own pace and schedule (also check out four reasons self-paced training works).
  • Choosing SuretyTM support. Keeping a relationship with the experts keeps you confident and compliant. Find out why so many of our clients opt for ongoing monitoring, support, and partnership.
  • Getting accessibility buy-in. The ease and effectiveness of achieving digital accessibility goals is influenced in large part by the acceptance and commitment of everyone, not just one or two employees. For help, check out information on how to get buy-in at work and how to introduce others to accessibility.

Require all future content to be accessible

The power of a full accessibility audit and remediation is that they should offer a clean slate for accessibility. As a point-in-time exercise, however, any audit process won't necessarily make sure that everyone maintains the same care and commitment for accessibility for all future content.

Doing so doesn't happen by accident. It requires a commitment and a shift in mindset.

To begin or strengthen that commitment, we recommend reading:

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