& Remediation Roadmaps for Our Team or Yours
Your audience is made of real people, and not all of these people experience your site in the same way. Different experiences need special attention and an adherence to best practices to make your site as usable as possible. We can help navigate the world of inclusion to audit and remediate your site and ensure it meets WCAG 2.1 Levels — and we'll explain what that means, too.
Who is an Accessible Web For?
In short — everyone. You may first think about people with obvious differences in the way they interact with the world — the blind, the deaf, the wheelchair-bound. But there are more subtle differences in the ways people can experience the web. And there are temporary disabilities, too. Consider:
- Jim is color blind like 1 in 12 (8%) men. Buttons that are bright colors look muddy and gray and they are hard to use
- Sophia is an avid snowboarder but broke her right arm last week. She is trying to get her work done without a mouse and is using only her keyboard until she recovers
- Edward is older and has macular degeneration in both eyes — it’s like looking through a dark tunnel. He needs to be able to increase the text size on a web page for a better reading experience
The construction of a website may not have taken these specific needs into consideration. Is your site making it harder for these potential customers to get what they want or need?
For more background on why accessibility is important, who it effects, and how it can change your company's bottom line for the better, watch our Webinar.
Defining what Accessibility Looks like for You
Accessibility compliance has been designed to be flexible — each company, product, and service may have different use cases and different audiences. Other factors, like whether or not your company contracts with government entities, may affect the level of access your products need to target.
The level of compliance that an organization should consider is customizable to the site’s needs and goals. The Web Content Accessibility Group (WCAG) define three levels of compliance — Level A, AA, and AAA, where A is basic standard practices and AAA addresses specific needs of the wider differently-able community. This flexibility is part of its strength — each company should choose the level of compliance that is important to them and relevant to their content.
Oomph helps to identify the correct level of compliance for your product based on the site’s audience, business goals, and current and future feature set.
Building the Roadmap
With a defined list of compliance levels, Oomph will conduct an audit of the current site conditions. We use a mix of automated tools and human users with various devices and accessibility software to compile a list of accessibility concerns. We then prioritize this list of issues according to your custom compliance goals. From here, we can define a path to remediation by addressing the biggest wins first.
Elements that typically need to be addressed include:
- Updating brand colors to have a higher on-screen contrast ratio
- Increasing text size for optimal legibility
- Increasing the size of touch targets for buttons and links to meet the minimum 44 x 44px
- Designing new “focus indicator” that make it easier for keyboard users to see where the current cursor is located
- Adding screen reader “alt” text for images, icons, and any element that relies solely on its visual presentation to communicate
- Re-engineering complicated elements like carousels, galleries, and modal windows to be keyboard navigable
- Re-engineering HTML forms to provide useful errors that are announced properly for screen reader software
Charting the Path Towards Remediation
Oomph can conduct remediation (Drupal & WordPress sites) or play an advisory role in partnership with your team.
If the audited site is a few years old and the list of issues to address is long, we may recommend a rebuild or redesign. The investment in remediation for an older site might be less or equal to building a new site. Planning accessibility from the beginning of a major redesign can be more cost effective and could meet other business goals as well.
While an Audit and Remediation may remove 100% of your site’s accessibility deficiencies, new content will be added and changed all the time, requiring future efforts to stay fully accessible. Because of this, we recommend conducting smaller audits every six months to capture new issues for remediation.
Insights about Accessibility
Oomph is constantly thinking about accessibility issues and sharing our knowledge through our blog. Our three-part series exploring who benefits from accessibility; the history of the ADA, Section 508, and WCAG; and how accessibility is an investment with a tangible ROI are a fantastic place to get started. There are many more posts available as well.
Accessibility is not only for Disabilities
The web should be an accessible place, but too many people hear “accessibility” and think special solutions for people with disabilities. That’s not always the case. The benefits of accessibility are far broader and have more impact on your business’s bottom line than you might realize.
The ADA Applies Accessibility Rules to Websites
The world of web accessibility is quickly changing, and recent legal events have made it clear that accommodations under the ADA will be applied to online entities in some cases. It’s time to take it all very seriously and learn more about the risks and consequences in order to plan for a more accessible future.
Contact us to Discuss an Accessibility Audit
We offer clients an open, collective partnership built on real human chemistry.