Building an Accessible Website: What Not To Do

[Approximate Reading Time : 4 mins]

Website accessibility is more important than ever to reach the billions of global citizens who live with disabilities. Thanks to legislation such as the Americans With Disabilities Act and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, digital accessibility is also now a legal requirement. Before you take action to meet these laws, learn the things you shouldn’t do.

What Not To Do When Building and Maintaining an Accessible Website

One of the best ways to remain compliant with any law, whether Title VII or the WCAG, is to learn from other businesses’ mistakes. Below are five approaches to website accessibility that companies should avoid, why, and what your company can do instead.

  1. Overlays and Plugins

Accessibility overlays are plugins that provide a link to a menu of options allowing users to modify the user experience to fit their preferences. While, on a surface level, this can seem like a clever solution, it actually creates one more hurdle for people with disabilities, forcing them to learn yet another tool to engage with your content. These tools also create a whole other host of legal issues for you.

  • Automated Testing Tools

Yes, automated testing tools are a standard in website audits, but should they be used as standalone solutions? Absolutely not. According to the data, automated tools only capture approximately 25% of accessibility errors.

  • Internal Teams

From learning curves to lack of flexibility to costs, there are several reasons why it does not make sense to assemble an internal team for digital accessibility. While a valiant approach, it is not a sustainable one.

  • Consultants

While there is no shortage of consultants who are willing and able to assess your website and identify accessibility issues, most do not provide the training, legal guidance, or support necessary to fix compliance issues.

  • Design Agencies

Website design companies may be experts in usable and aesthetically pleasing design, but many are not accessibility experts. Website accessibility is a highly technical area that requires specialized knowledge.

The Fix

The best way to meet digital accessibility standards is to partner with a team of experts intimately familiar with accessibility laws, best practices, and strategies. Talk to our accessibility experts to see if we’re the team for you.

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