Test Your Website For Accessibility
‘Website accessibility’ refers to the ease with which disabled people can access and use a particular website.
There are two main reasons why website accessibility should be a priority for your business. The Disability Discrimination Act, 2004, places a legal obligation on website owners to take reasonable steps to ensure that sites are accessible to users with disabilities.
There is little case law at present establishing what constitutes ‘reasonable steps’, but the Disability Rights Commission proactively brings cases against companies that are seen to prevent disabled people from accessing services via the web.
The second reason is that disabled people represent a significant proportion of the economically active population. Many disabled people prefer to access goods and services online. They can only use websites, however, which take account of their needs. Businesses that do not consider the needs of disabled visitors are denying themselves access to a significant number of potential customers.
A comprehensive accessibility audit assesses a website’s level of accessibility for users with a range of different disabilities. The website is assessed against a recognised accessibility standard. This is generally the Website Accessibility Initiative’s (WAI) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), produced by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These guidelines are authoritative, objective, internationally recognised and kept under constant review.
There are many websites which claim to carry out accessibility testing using automated programs. For the user with little web development experience, these programs often produce more questions than answers, and are best avoided in favour of a manual audit which aims for clarity in its reporting.
Optillion’s website accessibility audits assess both the website’s coding and its functionality against the recognised WAI guidelines. Our holistic approach to auditing considers all the main barriers to web accessibility, including blindness, colour blindness, poor visual acuity, motor impairment and cognitive disabilities. The result is a comprehensive report which details the website’s points of failure while providing guidance on the reasonable steps that could be taken to improve the site’s accessibility. The report also highlights measures which would make the website fully accessible.
Take the first steps towards greater website accessibility today by calling us on .
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