Website accessibility refers to the ability of web developers to ensure that anyone is able to gain access to digital content regardless of their ability. Although most designers and developers are aware of these requirements, most of them don’t know where to gets started. There has been a surge in the number of lawsuits associated with website accessibility in the recent past. The situation was worsened by the COVID-29 pandemic that prompted millions of businesses to shit their operations online. A majority of people with disabilities complained that they are unable to perform various activities including shopping online and working from home. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure all people can access your website with ease. Doing this will not only prevent lawsuits from coming your way but also promote your business through increased sales.Below are six steps to conduct an accessibility audit for your website:
1.Learn about WCAG 2.0
The first step is to ensure that you understand all the requirements of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). You really don’t need to go through each and every detail inside but just seek to understand the 12 primary categories and what each one of them entails.The WCAG 2.0 guidelines touch on almost every aspect of your website but each of the guidelines is there for a specific purpose. For instance, some guideline covers things like proper handling of alt text and images, how to deploy alternative web pages properly, basic markup techniques among others.
The next thing is to begin looking for your website’s basic code. This can be a bit tricky if you are not a developer. But the good news is that there a markup validation tool designed for non-developers so that they can easily make their websites accessible.
3.Check for screen reader compatibility
Considering the fact that most people with disabilities rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers, it is important to ensure that your site is working well with such software. Users should not struggle to access some information because of compatibility issues.
4.Review your site content
There are plenty of tools that you can use to determine whether your website is accessible or not. According to AudioEye, an accessibility checker
will help you pick out areas of your website that make it difficult for users to access certain content.
User testing will give provide you with vital information about areas where users may face difficulty in accessing your website. It is recommended that you conduct user testing with people with disabilities.
This will make it easy for you to quickly understand where there are still accessibility issues and plan on how to fix them.
6.Create a checklist for actionable tasks
After collecting all the information about the accessibility of your websites, it only makes sense to spend time and act on your accessibility audit report.
Website developers and designers have a responsibility to ensure that all websites they create comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.