WCAG and What You Need to Know: The Laws, The Rights and Your Online Benefits

Posted on in HME Government Issues

If you own a brick and mortar business, it’s likely that you know and comply with standards set by the Americans for Disabilities Act that was passed in 1990. However, you may not know about the recent developments in making websites part of Title III of the ADA, which means websites will soon be required to comply with a set of standards called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

Instead of focusing on the legal imperatives that will mandate accessibility in websites by 2018, we’re shedding light on the following benefits that will come from these guidelines:

  • Total accessibility has been brought into the limelight and has made both business owners and digital marketers acutely aware of how individuals of differing abilities utilize technology and experience your brand online.
  • Making your site WCAG-compliant will expand your online reach to fit a wider range of customers who will no longer experience barriers when visiting your website. In addition, the WCAG modifications made to your website will deliver better results because of effective search engine optimization.
  • It’s the right thing to do. We are in the business to improve the lives of our customers, and providing a fully accessible website further promotes the message that all individuals should have equal access to every element of our business.

Now to modifying your site for accessibility…  

To give you a better understanding of website elements that are examined under WCAG, let’s break it down into two groups: visual and function. 

  • Visual accessibility includes the areas of your website that may make it difficult to navigate for someone who is either totally blind, suffers from color blindness or has light sensitivity. When testing your site for visual accessibility, perform inspections that reveal color contrast as well as how well your call-to-action items stand out on each page.
  • Functional accessibility evaluates how easily someone using accessible tools such as screen readers or strictly keyboard navigation can interact with your site. Testing for functional accessibility involves a large amount of code inspection, which we recommend you leave to the professionals. Areas they look at include headings, structure, tab order and focus events among other “behind the scenes” elements.

While these guidelines may sound overwhelming, they will provide beneficial and positive results for our disabled community.

At VGM Forbin, we care deeply about providing an equally accessible web experience and serving our customers with the most current web marketing solutions available.

To better educate you on WCAG 2.0 and your website’s compliance, we will be holding a free WCAG 2.0 webinar on June 22. We’ll also be launching a series of social posts, blog articles and videos about this topic over the next few months.

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