Improve Accessibility at Your Organization for 2021
As remote work becomes the new normal, website accessibility has become a crucial requirement. If your business does not meet accessibility guidelines, you are opening yourself up to expensive lawsuits.
Some of the fines from these cases, such as that of Avanti Hotel’s, reached up to $25,000 in estimated damages. Meanwhile, the cost of following accessibility guidelines was just around $3,000.
What is website accessibility?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that was created in 1990. Its goal? To help keep the same rights and opportunities open for the differently abled. Thus, ADA prohibits discrimination against any person with disabilities in all areas of public life – this includes the use of anything available for public consumption on the internet.
In line with this, the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) came up with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
WCAG is a set of instructions guiding businesses how to make their web pages more accessible to users with disabilities. These have since been updated to WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1, and WCAG 2.2, as new scenarios required new guidelines.
The WAI also came up with a rating system for determining how compliant a website is to these guidelines. This rating is based on a set of tests or “success criteria” which businesses must pass.
There are three levels of rating that businesses receive based on how compliant they are. The lowest is A conformance, next is AA conformance, and the highest level is AAA conformance.
Why do you need to make your website accessible?
The US Census Bureau found that about 56.7 million Americans live with some form of disability, meaning that 1 in 4 adults in the US have a disability. Over half of this population has access to the internet, which translates to millions of people who may struggle with website use.
How to improve website accessibility for your organization
Now that it’s clear that website accessibility is not a nice-to-have feature but a must-have business need, how do you comply faster?
Here are four things you can start with:
#1. Create text captions for multimedia
Adding readable transcripts helps hearing-challenged individuals access video, webinar, podcast, and other multimedia content.
Meanwhile, text captions also make multimedia accessible for the sight-impaired via screen readers. Screen readers are apps that read captions aloud or convert them to braille. Using transcripts compatible with screen readers enables you to cover the needs of this demographic as well.
Rev’s transcription services help businesses comply with these standards quickly and affordably. With 99% accuracy and a 12-hour turnaround time, businesses can upload captions to their content in less than a day.
#2. Create text captions for non-text content
There are several things in your website that need text captions in order to be more accessible, including:
- Images, illustrations and other graphics
- Videos, audio, and other non-text content
- Social media posts, GIFs, memes, and other abstract visuals
- Icons, buttons, and other user interface visual elements
- Charts, graphs, diagrams, infographics and other data visualizations
#3. Create live captions for meetings
While it’s easy enough to create transcripts for pre-recorded multimedia, what about live events? Public service announcements, business meetings, educational webinars, live question-and-answer forums, and other time-sensitive meetings require live captioning.
This can become a pain point for businesses, especially those that need to continue working on cloud-based platforms to support their remote workforce. Rev Live Captions allows organizations to automatically add real-time captions to Zoom meetings and webinars.
#4. Make text more readable
In this section, the WCAG states that businesses must do the work of making sure their website content is legible.
These guidelines were made to avoid cases such as:
- Text being too small to read
- Inconsistent spacing between letters that confuses screen readers from reading words correctly
- Fonts with colors that blend too close to the background
To avoid these issues, follow the WCAG’s guidelines for:
- Minimum and maximum text size
- Recommended typography combinations
- Correct contrast ratio between text and background
- Ideal text spacing for readability
For more ways to make your organization more accessible this year, download our free accessibility checklist below.
Download Our Free Accessibility Checklist