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Disability Web Compliance Explained

 

Disability compliance has always been something that businesses have needed to address. Maybe in the past it was just having a wheelchair ramp or posting braille signs. These days those regulations have spilled over into our increasingly web-oriented world. 

The level of website compliance you offer may be a choice that you make based on the visibility of your businesses and its position within the marketplace. But for  example higher education institutions that are accredited by the state striving for full compliance is a must. 

Even if you’ve worked on making your site compliant in the past, if you’ve made lots of updates or have multiple editors working on content—chances are you’re not meeting accessibility guidelines. That’s because full compliance involves an accessibility maintenance plan. Much like living a healthy lifestyle there are specific actions that must be taken to ensure that this happens. -So let’s take this metaphor for a spin around town shall we?

When deciding to get healthier you have to decide your diet, is it paleo? Or are you going without red meat? Low carbs? Gluten free? This decision is similar to deciding between 508 compliance and the different levels of WCAG. Once you know the plan, following the rules gets easier.

Once you have your chosen diet in place it’s time to do an audit of your refrigerator and your pantry. All those foods that don’t fit in the new diet?- Toss them to the curb.  While it can be painful, running a full report and fixing all the issues that block a site from compliance is a necessary step.

Any diet requires maintenance otherwise the pounds just come back, right? Same principle applies to a website.  Let’s imagine you’re adding a new page to your website with new photos and you add the wrong heading titles and don’t assign any alt text on your photos. You’ve created a noncompliant page!

Over time your website gets similarly weighed down with bad decisions, and quarterly audits help get your site back on track by identifying all those mistakes. Suggest deleting the next paragraph and writing something about how audits are conducted (by professionals like TWD) and why they’re important (prevent costly lawsuits, keep disabled visitors on your site)

 Whew! It’d say my metaphor has gotten some good exercise but I hope that you’re now able to better understand how to keep and maintain compliance in order to keep your website accessible for all users.

We now encourage you to think of Third Wave as your personal trainer and nutritionist to help you with your compliance journey. Reach out today for information on our auditing services.

posted 02/01/2017 in Uncategorized

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