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How Do I Make My Website Accessible?

All people should be able to access any website on the internet. It shouldn’t matter if they have a condition or disability. That’s the core message behind web accessibility. The movement is about ensuring that the web and its content are usable by everyone, including those with a range of disabilities.

Many brands today are realizing the many business benefits of web accessibility. Compliance with official guidelines reduces legal risk from day one and protects your business from the sharp rise in costly accessibility lawsuits. It also dramatically enhances customer loyalty, brand image, SEO ranking and audience reach—all contributing to your bottom line.

That’s why savvy business owners everywhere are wondering “How do I make my website accessible?” in order to propel their business forward. So how exactly do you get started?

Web Accessibility Compliance Requirements

Society’s increasing reliance on all-things digital means that having an accessible website is no longer optional. It’s now often a requirement for both public and private organizations to operate across different industries and countries. While common visual or hearing fixes may be most apparent on websites, accessibility goes far deeper than surface level problems. Instead, sites need to be coded and designed according to official standards.

Enter the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). This international standard was created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) with the goal of making the internet and its content accessible to all. Used as a technical standard for web developers and designers, the guidelines ensure that sites are perceivable, operable, understandable and robust to all potential visitors.

Your website should be developed or remediated according to WCAG to provide equal access to users. The guidelines form the backbone of many online accessibility laws in the U.S. and around the world.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law enacted in 1990 that protects those with disabilities against discrimination. The ADA ensures that they can participate fully in all aspects of society—from accessing physical buildings (think mandatory wheelchair ramps, accessible restroom facilities and push buttons to open doors) to the digital world we live in today.

While WCAG tells us how to achieve web accessibility, the ADA is an enforceable legislation. This has led to a significant increase in accessibility lawsuits in the U.S. In 2017, there were just 262 lawsuits filed against businesses for failing to comply with ADA regulations. That number skyrocketed to 2,352 ADA-based lawsuits in 2021. It’s a trend that’s only exponentially increasing as more of our lives becomes digital.

Official standards like the WCAG and ADA make it possible for your business to be accessible to all potential customers. Due to the complex legal and technical nature, however, it’s necessary to work with accredited experts like ADS who can optimize your website for certified compliance.

How Do I Achieve Website Accessibility Compliance?

Although achieving web accessibility can seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Our 3-step process aims to make it as smooth for your business as possible. Let our certified technicians focus on compliance for your website—so you can reap the rewards.

At ADS, we begin with a complimentary assessment of your website. Our team of web technicians will scan everything from head-to-toe and evaluate how your website and content are displayed to incoming traffic. Our team is composed of accredited professionals who understand exactly what to look out for according to official WCAG 2.1 and ADA regulations.

After the assessment, we will follow up with a consultation to discuss the results. Many business owners are surprised to see the ways in which their website is costing their business—from small color contrast fixes to the inability to check out and process a transaction.

Based on this information, we will also provide an accessibility strategy that works within your existing structure. This action plan will include our recommended solutions, the next steps, and the benefits it will bring to your business.

Make Your Website Accessible

Business owners should beware of quick fixes to achieve web accessibility, such toolbars or overlays. These utilize AI and can only address 30% of accessibility issues. Expert human auditing is the only path to achieve true website accessibility.

As with most challenges your business faces on a regular basis, it’s far more effective to tackle the problem once at its root than constantly covering it up with band-aid fixes and temporary solutions.

ADS offers certified compliance with our team of accredited experts to create a long-term web accessibility solution for your business.

Book a complimentary ADA compliance review today to see how your website stacks up to accessibility standards. 

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Denise Páne <br><span>CEO & Founder</span>

Denise Páne
CEO & Founder

Denise is an Accredited Accessibility Expert with a lifetime of experience with people with disabilities and over 2 decades of experience at the helm of her branding and accessible web design agency, Access Design Studio. She is a passionate outdoorswoman and bold adventurer in life and business.

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