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Web Accessibility on a Budget: How to Get Started for Free or Little Cost

Mar 1, 2022

Some companies, especially small businesses, have concerns that website accessibility is cost prohibitive. They may want to ensure their websites are accessible to all their customers but don’t know if they can afford it. Accessibility is an investment that pays off, but it doesn’t have to be expensive to get started.

How to improve web accessibility for little to no cost:

  • Get a free accessibility assessment.
  • Learn what accessibility updates you can make yourself.
  • Use free assistive technology and accessibility tools.
  • Read content and continue learning from the accessibility community.
  • Publish an accessibility statement.
  • Create a long-term plan to full accessibility compliance.

Get a free accessibility assessment

Everyone can take advantage of a free graded report and overview of potential accessibility issues on their site.

Our free scan tests against common Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 checkpoints and provides an industry comparison. This can be helpful to get a general idea of how accessible your website it and how it fares against other companies in your industry.

It’s a helpful starting point (but does not fully assess or prove accessibility compliance).

Get a free graded accessibility report

Learn what accessibility updates you can make yourself

Some website accessibility improvements should be made with the help of trained subject matter experts. Others you might be able to fix yourself.

Check into the following and see if you can make updates to these elements quicky on your own:

Search or scroll through our blog to find guidance on other areas you might want to tackle yourself.

Use free assistive technology and accessibility tools

While reliable testing should be done by trained subject matter experts and native assistive technology users, there a number of tools you can start using today to help you improve accessibility on a budget.

Here are some to check out:

  • Screen readers. If you have a modern smartphone running iOS or Android, you have a screen reader in your pocket. VoiceOver comes with every iPhone and TalkBack is built into the Android operating system. On a desktop or laptop computer running Windows, you can download the NVDA screen reader for free. Be sure to check out our self-paced NVDA training course, too.
  • Color contrast validator. The a11y® Color Contrast Validator provides a free color contrast analysis. Everyone is welcome to check the color contrast compliance of any color combination or a full web page.

For more, read Free Accessibility Tools and Assistive Technology You Can Use Today.

Read content and continue learning from the accessibility community

Accessibility professionals publish a lot of helpful content and so much of it is available for free. Making a point to read and follow this material can help you find new opportunities for improving accessibility, technology tips and tricks, updates in the accessibility industry, and much more.

Here is a great reading and subscription list to start you off:

Publish an accessibility statement

An accessibility statement is now an expectation on websites that care about providing equal access to their visitors — and you don’t need to wait until your website is fully accessible to publish one.

That’s because an accessibility statement is more about publicizing your commitment to accessibility than guaranteeing that there won’t be any barriers. In fact, a good accessibility statement might include known accessibility issues and what the plan is to fix them. Additionally, consider including:

  • Your commitment to accessibility.
  • Your target accessibility conformance standard or level (such as WCAG 2.1 A/AA).
  • Your plan for how you’ll continue improving accessibility.
  • Accessibility contact, feedback, and help options for website visitors encountering issues.

Create a long-term plan to full accessibility compliance

Anyone can get started improving accessibility by committing to it and making the changes they can make, immediately and over time. That said, we will always recommend a plan that includes thorough accessibility testing by trained professionals, remediation of issues identified, and maintenance of accessibility going forward.

Even if you aren’t ready to invest in accessibility yet, it’s never too soon to start planning. There are many benefits, from legal protection to a great user experience.

If we can help, please feel free to contact us any time.

Use our free Website Accessibility Checker to scan your site for ADA and WCAG compliance.

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Not sure where to start?

Start with a free analysis of your website's accessibility.