MANY WEBSITES ARE DESIGNED WITHOUT ACCESSIBILITY IN MIND
The Acede Consulting Group has developed a proven four-step process to bring our clientele to meet the website accessibility Standard. The Acede Team of Consultants work closely with our website development partner and your organization to develop an executable plan.
Step One: Review and Testing
The first step involves determining the level of accessibility the client requires (A, AA or AAA). Our qualified website accessibility partner then determines a “test set”, a cross-section of website pages that each has unique content qualities. Testing is performed, both by humans and software to determine the current state of the website and what will be required to meet the Success Criteria for the desired accessibility level.
Step Two: Develop an Executable Plan
Our team develops an executional plan which will provide suggested solutions to fixing the accessibility issues uncovered during Step 1. This executable plan is delivered in the form of a report and can be used by your internal website development team if you choose.
Step Three: Execute the Plan!
The third step in our process is to have our website development team execute the necessary steps and to ensure the website satisfies the Success Criteria for your required level of accessibility.
Step Four: Final Compliance Testing
Lastly, a final test utilizing WCAG 2.0 software and humans will be conducted to ensure all issues are resolved and your site is ready for upload to your live server environment. A final report is supplied by our team on all testing, which can be included in your final AODA filing.
Accessibility is increasingly a concern when planning a building, serving our employees or accommodating our customers, yet many websites are designed without accessibility in mind.
It is estimated that over 4 million Canadians have no or low vision, if your website is not compatible with current screen reading software you may be invisible to these customers. Accessible websites are also easier for everyone to use, are favoured by the major search engines, and work better with additional devices such as cell phones.
Website accessibility has also become a legislated requirement in many jurisdictions. In the province of Ontario, designated public sector organizations and large organizations will need to ensure their websites and content meet WCAG 2.0 guidelines.
New websites and content on existing sites should already conform with WCAG 2.0, Level A (as of January 1, 2014). All public websites and content must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA other than captions and pre-recorded audio descriptions by January 1, 2021.
WCAG 2.0 is an internationally accepted standard for web accessibility developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international team of experts.
WCAG 2.0 sets out guidelines (Success Criteria) for organizations to follow to make their websites more accessible for people with disabilities. The guidelines cover items such as writing web content in clear language, providing alternate text for images and making sure someone can navigate your website with just a keyboard or an assistive device.
Each guideline has three levels of accessibility: A, AA and AAA. Level AAA is the highest level of accessibility. Following these guidelines should make it easier for everyone to access your website and content, including people without disabilities.
Accessible website design and development helps make online content open to a wider range of people including those with disabilities that impact sight, hearing, comprehension and cognitive disabilities, movement, and speech.