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Web Accessibility Audits Offer a Measurable and Repeatable Approach to Compliance

Apr 13, 2021

When a company chooses a proper audit and a robust partnership that includes maintenance and support over time, they are creating critical business and legal reports that:

  1. Help them measure their accessibility issues and progress.
  2. Help them repeat and maintain accessibility efforts.

Measuring accessibility issues and progress

Most business leaders and other stakeholders want data to help them make decisions, create roadmaps, and report out on how initiatives are moving along. Accessibility audits offer quantifiable data in a few ways, including:

  • Executive reports and summaries to give top-level insight quickly
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) checkpoint breakdowns to specify which violations were found
  • WCAG conformance level targets and current status (for example, WCAG 2.1 A/AA)
  • Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs) to provide vendors and others a comprehensive analysis of current conformance

Companies that choose a full manual audit and automated testing will have comprehensive metrics that give them a detailed accessibility assessment at a given point in time, as well as a baseline to measure against moving forward. After the initial remediation is complete, quarterly automated scans offer a fast way to monitor if there have been code or content changes that might present new accessibility concerns. Measuring current metrics against past and future data gives the necessary context to understand and communicate progress.

To learn more about our approach, which provides businesses with a full set of detailed and customized reports for leaders, lawyers, and developers, read:

Repeating and maintaining accessibility efforts

The accessibility of a website is best achieved through processes and programs. While a one-time audit or project may be better than never paying attention to accessibility at all, accessibility really isn't a one-time fix.

An audit and ongoing relationship with a proven web accessibility partner can set businesses up with processes that can be repeated and sustained in a few ways, including:

  • Building self-sufficiency: Developer's Guides organize accessibility issues by theme so developers can learn how to address content types (like media and forms) for remediation on their own.
  • Quarterly assessments: Once a benchmark is established, periodic scans provide a quick way to identify and analyze certain types of code and content changes that can impact accessibility.
  • Future audits: There isn't a set period of time after which it makes sense to perform another full, manual audit on a website. How frequently the content is updated and the individuals updating it can have a big impact on when it might be time to consider one. That said, a website redesign does offer the ideal time to incorporate accessibility.

For larger companies that might have more than one website or brand, accessibility processes that are scalable and repeatable become extra important.

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