Spring Cleaning: Keeping Content Accessible Through Periodic Checks

March 9, 2021

In a few short weeks, it will officially be spring. In households and offices alike, people will honor the ritual of at least trying to get cleaned up and organized. Spring cleaning can be applied to anything, including web accessibility, as it's always a good practice to periodically review and tidy-up accessibility.

Clean the old, plan for the new

Content that hasn't been tested for accessibility yet

If there is any content on your website that has never been tested for accessibility, either because it's new or because your website hasn't been audited before, start here.

Web content, even if it's on a popular platform like WordPress, isn't automatically accessible. Best practices need to be followed and content should be carefully tested and remediated.

Take an inventory of content that hasn't been tested for accessibility yet and then consider:

  • Getting started with a free website scan to get an overview of potential WCAG 2.1 A/AA accessibility issues on your site.
  • Contacting us to learn about our comprehensive TruAccessTM audit, SuretyTM support, and all the ways we help you achieve, maintain, and prove digital compliance.

If you're planning to begin assessments yourself before having an external audit, check out 5 quick ways to self-check accessibility and self-paced training.

Content that hasn't been tested for accessibility in a while

Content that hasn't been tested before and high-priority use cases usually should be prioritized before other content that has been tested and remediated before.

All content, however, should be checked periodically to make sure it stays compliant. Each organization will feel comfortable doing this at different frequencies and in different ways, but all organizations should have a plan in place for exactly when and how to do so.

If the majority of content rarely changes, annual checks might be enough. If it changes frequently, at least quick reviews probably should be done a few times throughout the year. There isn't a magic number, but the more frequently accessibility gets attentions, the more likely it is that issues will be identified and corrected.

Periodic automated scans offer a great way to get an idea of anything that might have changed recently. If something new pops up, it's a good indicator to take a closer look to determine if there's a new violation to fix. Make sure to ask about how our ongoing maintenance and scanning services work.

All of this changes if there is a major redesign or overhaul. A redesign offers the perfect opportunity to consider accessibility and would require a full review, since elements and designs from the previous site would appear and behave differently.

Content that doesn't exist yet

Create a plan that is actionable and can be enforced for ensuring that all new content will be accessible. Older content needs to be fixed as soon as possible, but new content should be accessible by default.

Not making websites accessible by default leads to a loss of privacy, exposure to stereotypes, and untimely delays.

Identify responsibilities for making content accessible and make sure project plans and all documentation accounts for it as a requirement. For help getting started, check out:

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