Is your website in danger of potential litigation just because you don’t have accessible content on it? This is a fear of countless webmasters in almost every industry. Now that some aspects of WCAG rules are considered legally enforceable, there’s a risk that those who haven’t adopted to them could eventually be sued for their negligence.
At Site Compliance, we hear stories about people who aren’t even sure whether or not their sites would actually pass an audit if they were ever up against one. Don’t wait until something happens. Your IT department or a web designer can plan an individual audit to take a more proactive approach to the whole issue.
Checking that you’re in agreement with all eight of the following guidelines will go a long way toward ensuring overall compliance.
WCAG Audit Guidelines
- Limit your use of color. Make sure that color isn’t ever used as the sole visual means of sharing information. As well as complying with accessibility reasons, this guideline is vitally important due to differences in the way different devices reproduce color imagery. You can’t be sure users will actually see the colors you intended.
- Never rely solely on other sensory characteristics to convey a message, either. Shape, object orientation or sound could all be misconstrued. Always have some kind of plain text that clearly explains the information you’re trying to get across.
- If you post videos on your site, then disable autoplay. Give users the option of whether they want to watch a video or not. Provide transcripts for those who may be unwilling or unable to parse this kind of content. This can also help to attract users who are on slower cellular connections and might have difficulty loading heavier online objects.
- Treat audio presentations the same way. Transcripts for podcasts or speeches should be provided in plain text format or as part of a regular HTML post for the benefit of those who experience difficulties with auditory material.
- Keep the contrast ratio between the text and background to a figure somewhere around 4.5:1 or higher. Black text on a neutral background generally works the best across every kind of device. Some people use special accessible browsers and others use those that are command-line driven. This display format should work equally as well with this kind of software as with general consumer-grade apps.
- Users should always be free to resize the text without ruining the flow of HTML frames. Even the most bare-bones browsers can usually resize the text without the use of assistive technology up to around 200 percent. Therefore, adhering to this guideline is of the utmost importance.
- Avoid background audio if at all possible. While it might sound impressive to web designers, it can be rather irritating or downright problematic to some consumers. This might pose an issue if a site is designed to promote, say, an online radio station or another streaming service. Should this be the case you can usually embed tracks into a designated player to allow users to consume this kind of content at their leisure.
- On the other hand, you’ll certainly want to ensure that audio options are available each time you insert a CAPTCHA onto one of your pages. Audio-based alternatives are required by those who may experience vision-related issues.
Complying with WCAG Regulations
For the longest time, there wasn’t any actual legal framework to enforce WCAG rules. They were considered more along the lines of technical recommendations than anything. However, more recent legislation and litigation have changed this fact. As a result, you need to be sure that your site doesn’t fall afoul of any of these important guidelines.
While you might run far too many online portals to ever check them out manually, you can use a tool like Site Compliance to make sure you’ve met or exceeded all relevant regulations. Contact us online today when you’re ready to learn more about how we can help.