The internet is the melting pot for all forms of innovations and updates since it was born. It used to be complicated and complex as far as the competitor is concerned. To some extent it still is, but with certain norms becoming the industry standard, the current picture is one of user-end specific. If you are not designing your website according to these standards, your ratings and traffic hits go down.
So, it is safe to assume that it is no longer about the responsive and snappy site that the internet once used to be. It is not just about a specific tech-savvy population. If the website is not designed for people with special needs and disabilities, then you still have a lot of unfinished business.
What is website accessibility?
Your domain, website, or the mobile app for a particular venture needs to be accessible to people with disabilities. That is the gist of the matter. No, we aren’t talking about partial accessibility. There are ADA norms and section 508 compliance that your site needs to adhere by to make sure it is complete. There are ways to test the accessibility of your site for people with disabilities through the website accessibility checkers.
About website accessibility testing
As stated earlier, there are stipulations and compliance acts that your site and mobile apps need to abide to make the domain more accessible to the people with disabilities. Here are the facets of a proper accessible website.
- Compliance to the current WCAG (Website Content Accessibility) standards
- Adherence to the ADA compliance
- 508 compliance
Keep in mind that the Worldwide Web Consortium upholds the updated and the most recent version of these standards all around the world.
Do you need experts?
Since there are industry standards and technical details to take care of, you do need expert help. Here is the complete list of the features for your website that will be taken care of by a specialist website accessibility checker service/personnel.
- Proper accessibility testing for the website and the mobile apps
- Extensive level of manual and automated scrutiny as and when required for individual pages on the domain
- Testing of all individual functions provided on the webpage with respect to the accessibility factor for persons with disabilities
- Accessibility check of the various electronic form submissions and product searches
The expert is responsible for taking active inputs from actual people with disabilities to rate, review, and make alterations to the site to make it compliant with the WCAG stipulations. You need the expert help to make sure that all the theoretical facets are transformed into practical applications for the web-domain.
Yes, you do have the automated testing software and tools, but you need to understand that these are lacking in the nuances and the finer details that are ever-present with actual human interactions. Assist devices can only emulate; so, it is essential to hire the expert help to make sure you combine both manual as well as automated testing.
About the automated testing
There are several automated testing tools available when you are looking to check the accessibility for your domain. These tools perform several diagnostic tests on various components of the web-domain to put forward results regarding the accessibility. There are free website checkers as well as paid/premium ones with a lot of control and features.
Automated testing is highly beneficial if you are looking to gather insight into the reasons and the types of issues that a disabled person can face while handling your website. The harder your website is to navigate, the faster users will switch to a different website, thereby leaving a negative impression as far as web ranking and traffic metrics are concerned.
However, you do need to keep it in mind that automated checkers aren’t fool-proof, in the sense that they often report false positives. False positives are reports about issues that do not cause any problem for people with disabilities. Moreover, most of the report is filled with technical details that make sense to hardcore programmers and web developers. Yes, you can have an idea about what is wrong with your site, but when it comes to solutions or implementation of them, these tools don’t offer a lot.
About manual testing
Manual testing is all about actual human judgment. There are no simulations or emulators that are involved. There is no alternative to manual testing since this presents the truest report as far as the accessibility of a domain is concerned.
You can consider working with accessibility partners who test a domain and pages. All the pages, the electronic documents as well as the appearance, codes, and various elements of the domain get thoroughly checked before the website gets launched.
The experts are adept at handling the complications and coming up with solutions since they are quite familiar with the accessibility standards and norms that every website should comply. Experts also have access to people with disabilities to check the site and get valuable input about the issues with the site and how to rectify them in the next update.
Why is it important?
Let us have an example. Any website, especially retail seller ones, are based on the parameter of speed. People with specific disabilities cannot type or use the keyboard and functions on the site with the same speed as an able person would. This might result in the user-request getting timed-out during a purchase. This means your sales go down drastically. This is what gets remediated in a properly accessible domain with the accessibility checkers. The popularity of mobile devices compounds the problem. The smaller sized environment makes taking care of the accessibility trickier. This means you need expert help more than ever.
Types of disabilities supported by the world web consortium
According to the ADA, WCAG and section 508 stipulations, the following are the disabilities that are supported by the worldwide web consortium. These examples include
- Limited vision
- Partial or complete blindness
Various motor neuron disabilities that include multiple sclerosis, mechanical injuries to the spinal cord, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and arthritis
So, it is vital to make sure that your digital content is available to people with disabilities. It is your job to make sure technology is readily available to everyone irrespective of the physical condition.