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Web accessibility has evolved as a new industry standard; much like privacy and security (i.e., SSL), it is a fundamental building block of any website. We confidently offer AccessiBe as part of our services. We also make every effort to ensure that the websites we design meet certain standards.
On this Website Accessibility page, you’ll find everything you need to know about ADA WEBSITE COMPLIANCE – Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design AND how to become compliant.
CHECK OUT THE ICON in the bottom left corner of THIS website to try the accessWidget for yourself!
What is web accessibility?
Web accessibility is a set of design guidelines, rules, code standards, and behaviors. They are used to enable people with disabilities, which comprise 20% of the world’s population, to use websites effectively.
To achieve this, the W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium) has created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1), which guide developers on how to make websites accessible.
The WCAG focuses mainly on three areas of accessibility: blind people using screen-readers (JAWS, NVDA), people with motor impairments who use only keyboards, and a variety of other disabilities such as color blindness, epilepsy, and minor visual impairments that are mainly focused on the UI and design of the website (color contrasts, animations, fonts, etc.).
How does it apply to websites?
A website should be prepared and agile enough to address all forms of disabilities. For example, does your website contain videos? If it does then you need to provide audio captions as well as transcripts for those with auditory or cognitive issues.
In order to comply with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, a clean and minimal layout must be considered for those with cognitive and learning disabilities. Larger buttons and customizable text is also needed to assist those with visual impairments.
It makes it easier for a wide audience to use your website when a user can change the spacing, size, color and font. It makes them more comfortable for regardless of what type of device they use to access it.
How web accessibility helps users with disabilities
Learn about your users with disabilities, their challenges on the web, and how accessiBe helps
- How do people with visual impairments use accessWidget?
- How do people with Epilepsy use accessWidget?
- How do blind people use accessWidget?
- How do people with cognitive disabilities use accessWidget?
- How do people with physical/motor disabilities use accessWidget?
Help for Blind & Vision Impaired
Challenges on the web
Websites are visual representations of coding structure and elements. Whatever you see on a screen has been implemented within the code. For visually-abled people, this allows us to overlook a website’s code as long as what we see on the screen makes sense.
Blind people navigate the web using a technology called a screen reader. A screen reader is an assistive technology that blind people use to use computers in general and also the web.
A screen reader “bypasses” the visual screen and goes straight to the code to examine and then relay to the blind user what is being represented on the screen.
Therefore, it’s essential that a website’s code properly reflects what is being viewed on the website. However, there are different ways to code certain elements (such as a menu or dropdowns) that will all look the same to a visually-abled person. For blind people who can’t recognize a globally recognized structure of an element, they could get misled about a website’s content.
For example, think about images on a website. Images are often used to symbolize a category on a website or reveal a launch of a new sale. So visually-abled people will be able to read the text “Children’s clothes” or “30% off kitchen supplies” on the image, but blind people will just hear “graphic.”
How accessWidget helps
AccessWidget uses AI to scan a website and understand all of the elements on a page. The contextual understanding technology understands the purpose of every element, the way it’s coded, and also how the end-user is meant to perceive it. Then accessWidget automatically adjusts the website’s code to ensure that the screen reader will understand exactly what the blind user needs to know.
- ARIA attributes are automatically added for context and behavior-related adjustments to optimize elements in the most comprehensive and efficient way. For example, determining main menus, header structure, and recognition of important icons.
- Alternative text is added automatically to images using robust image recognition technology to add elaborate and accurate descriptions to all images.
- Screen reader text is automatically added to help the screen reader describe certain actions and areas based on the context of a website
Help for People with Epilepsy
Challenges on the web:
The beautiful thing about websites is that they can be designed to show content in many different ways. Unfortunately, some visual means can be frustrating and even dangerous for some site visitors. People with epilepsy are cautious about browsing websites for fear of triggering a seizure caused by blinking or flashing elements such as GIFs, videos, or animations. In many cases, these visuals are on a loop or autoplay or don’t respond to interactions from site visitors. Simply put, websites can be like land mines for epileptic site visitors.
How accessWidget helps:
accessWidget’s interface allows site visitors to stop all flashing and blinking elements on a page. Instead of cautiously scrolling and quickly pausing dangerous elements, epileptic users can pause everything at once. This is made even more simple by accessWidget’s Seizure Safe profile which simultaneously stops all blinking/flashing elements and reduces dangerous color combinations.
Help for People with Cognitive Disabilities
Challenges on the web:
People with cognitive impairments have certain limitations in mental functionalities that can affect the way in which website content is perceived and understood. These site visitors may encounter confusing and frustrating experiences on websites without the proper context or orientation adjustments.
For example, slang and abbreviations can be very confusing for people with cognitive disabilities who do not know how to interpret the meaning. Many websites are designed in beautiful, adventurous ways when it comes to orientation. However, they can be quite confusing for people with cognitive disabilities if they don’t have the ability to focus on the elements of the site.
How accessWidget helps:
accessWidget helps people with cognitive disabilities by enabling features on a website that add clarification and focus to website elements. For example, accessWidget’s interface has a built-in dictionary for on-demand definitions. In addition, website elements are outlined and focused so that site visitors can clearly see the flow of a website without being distracted.
accessWidget’s interface also offers a ‘Cognitive Disabilities’ Profile. Site visitors who require extra focus to comprehend site elements may not fully understand which accessibility adjustments are for them. With accessWidget’s ‘Cognitive Disabilities’ Profile, they can easily spot the profile for them and enable all of the aforementioned adjustments for fast, simple, and comprehensive web accessibility.
Help for People with Motor Disabilities
Challenges on the web:
When it comes to websites, physical and motor impairments are defined by the inability to use a mouse. Luckily, a keyboard can do everything a mouse can do and more. Unfortunately, most websites are not optimized for keyboard navigation so website elements won’t respond to keyboard actions. These websites exclude people with motor impairments.
This means that if a website element, such as a popup, form, or menu, isn’t designed to respond to keyboard commands, then there’s no way to interact with them without a mouse. For example, we all know that moment when you enter a website, and an image or banner appears in the form of a popup. If this happens, we click on the ‘X’ and go on with our reason for visiting the site. However, if the popup isn’t optimized for keyboard navigation and doesn’t respond to a keyboard action to close the popup, then the user will be stuck on the popup with no way to go back to the original page.
How accessWidget helps:
accessWidget makes websites navigable by keyboard. By using ARIA attributes and contextual understanding AI engine, accessWidget makes the necessary adjustments throughout the website’s code. People with motor impairments can use the keys to do everything from closing popups and forms to opening drop-downs and menus.
Reasons to Make Your Website Accessible
In 2021, an estimated 300,000 website owners (roughly 1% of small businesses) received Demand Letters for failing to have accessible websites. The average settlement was around $30,000. Making your website more accessible helps you to manage this significant litigation and reputational risk.
Optimize your website’s reach and create a competitive advantage. Create a competitive advantage by making your website accessible and reaching out to a huge, underserved, and extremely loyal group of potential clients. Accessibility also plays a role in reducing your bounce rates and making sure that everyone can access your site’s content.
It's the Right Thing
Adding accessibility options to your website is the right thing to do. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion social movement is growing exponentially. Inclusivity is a civil rights issue, and brands that prioritize it send a clear positive message that they see and care about all members of their communities.
How To Make Your Website Accessible
Add accessiBe Widget
We have partnered with accessiBe, the industry leader and pioneer of an AI and machine learning-powered solution called accessWidget. It is a cost-efficient software solution that automates making your site vastly more accessible.
How Does It Work
Watch accessiBe’s 3-minute demo and this video of a person who is blind using accessWidget.
A $5,000 tax credit is available to business owners that invest in accessibility. Click here to download the IRS tax incentive information and the tax forms for your tax professional to review.
Find Out If Your Website Is ADA & WCAG Compliant
Fill out the form below, and we’ll provide you with a free accessibility website audit!