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Accessibility Scanners: How To Make Your Website WCAG-Compliant

by Alice Jackson Tweet - in Website Design

WCAG compliance

Website accessibility is not just about all types of users accessing a website instantly in their own ways and within their limited means. It is now a prime concern of governments, and they have enacted laws for quick accessibility of websites and mobile apps. So, brands now check their websites on the set WCAG accessibility parameters first. You should also check your business website design to see if it is easily viewable and navigable for all users, regardless of their skill levels and other impairments.

By making your website WCAG compliant, you ensure that all your users, regardless of disabilities, have easy access to your website’s content, giving them a great user experience. WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) has been developed to provide a shared standard for the accessibility of web content that meets the requirements of organizations, individuals, and governments globally.

Also, note that cases of legal action against the sites that do not comply with the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines [WCAG] are increasing. So, it would be wise to include WCAG and ADA compliance as part of your business strategy. A website Accessibility Checker is an excellent solution to ensure that a website fully meets accessibility standards.

Website accessibility is, in fact, one of the prime concerns of not just common users but also governments across the globe. This is because websites are today a primary source of all information for users. So, even governments have made strict laws for the assured accessibility of websites to users.

Many countries have created legislation regarding web accessibility. These laws are part of their disability or equality laws.

For example, the United States of America has two acts – The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. These laws ensure that all electronic and information technology is accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities.

In the UK, the Equality Act 2010 and its information-related provisions ensure that citizens are provided with websites that are easily accessible. Consequently, today, 74% of UK public-sector websites & 32% of private-sector websites comply with WCAG.

Similarly, there is the European Union (EU) Directive on the Accessibility of Websites and Mobile Applications. This ensures that all the websites and mobile apps meet accessibility standards.

Risks Of A Non-Compliant Website

If your website fails to comply with the WCAG standards fully, you run multiple risks, including your brand being seen in a bad light by the users.

Here Are Some Of The Significant Risks You Incur:

  • You may be punished under local and international laws. Your website may come under the scanner of the ADA, UK Equity Act, European Public Bodies, and other applicable laws.
  • Such a website is perceived as a hurdle for users’ online journeys and experiences.
  • Your website may also have a negative brand image, which damages your business reputation.
  • With WCGA non-compliance, your website may be unable to perform fully, and you may not realize your SEO goals.

So, it is advisable to check your website on different accessibility parameters. Then, remove all those impediments and complexities.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

The WCAG guidelines were issued in 1999 and are updated periodically.

Here Are Four Parameters Set To Check WCAG-Compliant Websites

01. Perceivable Information

Any information on a website page must be perceivable instantly to the users. The users should be able to instantly understand all types of text and visual content at first glance. They should see and hear content easily using different options.

02. Clean User Interface

The user interface components also must be clean, and users should be able to understand it instantly. This implies that the website must be in a simple language and content presentation is predictable to make it helpful to the users.

03. Easy Navigation

A website should have user-friendly navigational components, meaning that these buttons help users take the desired action quickly. One such good website eliminates all the design barriers for maximum functionality.

04. Compliant With All Technologies

Additionally, a website must function well on all technologies. So, a wide range of tools, such as browsers, media players, screen readers, etc., should be able to interpret content on a web page.

Benefits Of Using An Accessibility Scanner

Accessibility scanners can help ensure that your website complies with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines are a set of best practices for making web content more accessible to people with disabilities, including those with visual, auditory, physical, and cognitive impairments.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your website is usable by as many people as possible, regardless of their abilities or the technology they are using.

Here Is How You Benefit From An Accessibility Scanner

01. Get A Detailed Accessibility Report

An effective website accessibility checker should automatically check your website for WCAG and ADA compliance so you can identify, prioritize, and fix accessibility issues. Typically, you enter your website URL to scan your website for potential accessibility issues.

The scan then provides you with a detailed report on the accessibility of your website, including recommendations on how to fix any problems it finds.

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02. Have A Design and Code-Friendly Solution

You want to choose an accessibility scanner that comprehensively scans desktop and mobile resolutions. This tool should also check for possible problems with screen sizes and devices. And always have your dev team in mind when you choose an Assistant Tech provider.

Ideally, an accessibility scanner should remediate your accessibility issues without modifying your website design scheme or code. It’s also helpful to use a tool that pinpoints site-wide issues first to help prioritize and streamline your team’s development efforts.

Also, it is advisable to go with a solution that plays nicely with other platforms. For example, the best scanners on the market enable you to seamlessly export development tasks to Jira, Trello, Asana, GitHub, Bugzilla, and numerous other systems.

03. Keeps You Away From Legal Issues

Integrating an accessibility scanner is a crucial first step in the right direction. It’s critical to reach WCAG, ADA, Section 508, EN 301-549, and AODA conformance—and this technology can provide invaluable peace of mind for your company.

Remember, a more accessible site for people with disabilities and a legal safety net that protects you against costly lawsuits. And even the smallest businesses are vulnerable to legal action for non-compliant websites—all the more reason to get your executive team behind this technology.

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04. Slash Costs, Boost Your Reach and Sales

If your website is easily accessible to disabled people, your business can reach out to over one billion people with various disabilities. They comprise the largest minority group in the world. Consequently, it will ultimately result in your business having more customers.

Your costs to reach out to customers with disabilities also are slashed to a large extent. There is no need for you to contact those potential customers manually. So, the automated approach is much more cost-effective than the in-house method of reaching customers.

Here Is How To Use An Accessibility Scanner To Make Your Website WCAG-Compliant

01. Use An accessibility Scanner

The first step in making your website WCAG-compliant is to use an accessibility scanner to identify any issues that need to be addressed. There are many accessibility scanners available, both free and paid, and each has its features and capabilities. Some popular accessibility scanners include Web AIM’s WAVE, Axe, and Lighthouse.

02. Identify and Fix Accessibility Issues

Once you have run an accessibility scan on your website, the scanner will provide a report with a list of issues that need to be fixed. These issues may include problems with the color contrast of text and background colors, the use of non-text content (such as images and videos), and the use of invalid HTML markup. Therefore, it is essential to carefully review the report and fix all identified issues to ensure that your website is fully WCAG-compliant.

03. Use Proper Formatting and Layout

Proper formatting and layout are essential for ensuring that your website is accessible to all users. This includes using adequate heading structure (e.g., using H1 tags for the main heading and H2 tags for subheadings), using descriptive link text (e.g., “Learn more about our products” instead of “Click here”), and using appropriate alt text for images.

04. Provide Text Alternatives For Non-Text Content

Non-text content, such as images and videos, can be difficult or impossible for some users to access. It is important to provide text alternatives for this type of content to ensure it is accessible to all users. It can be done using the alt attribute in the HTML img tag. You should provide a transcript of the audio or a description of the visual content for videos.

05. Ensure Your Website is Keyboard-Navigable

Many users with disabilities rely on a keyboard to navigate the web. Therefore, it is crucial to ascertain that your website design is fully keyboard-navigable, which means users can access all of the content and functionality using the keyboard only. This includes providing an appropriate focus for interactive elements and ensuring that all links and form controls can be accessed using the keyboard.

06. Test Your Website On Different Devices and Browsers

It is important to test it on various devices and browsers to ensure it is accessible to all users. This includes testing on different screen sizes, operating systems, and assistive technologies, such as screen readers.

07. Use Proper Language and Wording

The language and wording you use on your website can greatly impact its accessibility. Therefore, it is essential to use clear, concise language and avoid technical terms that may be unfamiliar to some users. You should also use only a few caps so users can read them easily.

By following these steps while using an accessibility scanner, your technology is accessible to all users, regardless of their technology and skill levels. Ensuring the accessibility of your website is not only the right thing to do, but it can also help you reach a wider audience and improve the user experience.

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Final Thoughts

Overall, an accessibility scanner is an excellent tool to ascertain that your website design is accessible to all users. You don’t risk anything by running an accessibility scan on your site. The scanner also offers invaluable legal protection, enhances your e-Commerce sales, and is an ethically sound way to serve over one billion fellow citizens with disabilities.

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Alice Jackson is a business consultant, blogger, social media enthusiast, online market analyst, amateur designer and an avid author at Designhill. She has written on several topics including social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, startup strategies and e-commerce. When she’s not writing, she loves spending her time reading romantic novels, Connect with her on Twitter: @jackson_alice1

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