Working with a web accessibility consultant
The law dictates that businesses and corporations make their services accessible to all clients, including those with disabilities. These conditions are provided in the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). If a business has 15 employees or more, it should follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These are the guidelines to be followed by web designers, web authoring tool developers, developers of accessibility tools and any other person who needs or wants a standard for web and mobile accessibility.
But, how do you tell if your website is compliant? Well, it helps to enlist the services of a web accessibility consultant. Their work is to check and ensure that your company has complied with all the guidelines. They also provide continuous guidance and support in matters regarding web compliance.
Who is a web accessibility consultant?
This is a professionally trained and certified individual whose main job is to audit and improve client’s websites which pose accessibility difficulties to people with disabilities. The work involves identifying accessibility issues, recommend, provide and implement solutions in line with ADA and WGAG requirements.
Here are more benefits of hiring a web compliance consultant for your company.
They are knowledgeable in web accessibility compliance matters
The issues of accessibility compliance are technical with many specific conditions. These can prove difficult to understand if you do not know all of them. But a qualified consultant has been trained and explicitly specialized on these issues to help your company comply with every requirement and demanded by law.
Trying to comply without help from a consultant may become very difficult and time-consuming, and you may still end up missing some critical compliance issues.
You can rely on their experience
Like other professions, experience plays a huge role in how the ADA-compliant website requirements are met. Most of the consultants have carried out compliance checks for years, meaning that they know what to look for and what they need to do with their findings. Besides, they’ll most likely have experience working with people with disabilities, making it easier for them to notice and remove barriers affecting them.
They test your web accessibility functionality
You may feel inclined to do self-test with the help of available online tools that claim to test websites and apps for compliance. However, these tools may not check all attributes but rather, only the common issues such as captions on images for the blind or transcripts for the deaf. They may not even be able to tell if these attributes have been correctly used. Consultants carry out the test themselves, ensuring that every attribute has been checked and necessary compliance measures are taken.
They can do both manual and automated testing, and this way, they help you avoid being caught in a website accessibility lawsuit due to non-compliance. This 2018 ADA lawsuits report shows the number of lawsuits filed by ADA in 2018 across the US.
They are up-to-date with compliance procedures and guidelines
The ADA compliance guidelines are updated from time to time, and these consultants keep themselves updated for the sake of their clients. As your consultant, they’ll ensure that you’re also updated and necessary updates to your website made. They are also aware of new accessibility software and devices and which of these are best. This rids you of worry from time to time on whether your website is still complaint or not.
Fully following ADA-compliant website requirements is easier if you have a consultant’s guidance and counsel.
Hiring a web accessibility consultant will enable you to work worry-free assured that you are compliant with the recommended ADA and WGAG guidelines. They can audit your website or mobile apps to identify segments with accessibility barriers that need improvement. They ensure that the process is comprehensive while also offering you regular services to ensure that you’re always up-to-date with the guidelines, devices, and software.
Consultants also add the human touch that testing tools cannot. They make judgment calls if and when needed, in addition to testing accessibility features to ensure that your site is fully compliant. They also keep you up-to-date with the updates on guidelines as they’re released. When a consultant evaluates your website, they do more than just checking if your images contain alternative text but that the text has been used correctly and everything aligns with the requirements.
Story by Elena Alehno