Ensuring Inclusive User Experience with Accessible Web Design – AccessiBe
Many people with disabilities are restricted from enjoying the benefits of the internet and web-based social interactions. Some disabilities which restrict people from accessing websites include but are not limited to visual deficiencies, deafness, learning disabilities, cognitive disabilities, physical dexterity limitations, motor deficiencies, etc.
In order to help individuals with disabilities, technological advancements have done a great job by offering assistive devices such as screen readers and web accessibly software, voice interactions, braille input and output devices, etc. However, even with such accessibility tools offered by technology, it is estimated that about 15% of the United States population is people with disabilities are having difficulties accessing the websites online.
Accessibility compliance explained by AccessiBe
Ensuring accessibility is a big deal now as the penalty for non-compliance may be $75,000 for the first time and may go up to $1,50,000 for subsequent violations. In many lawsuits during the last decade, the settlements were done in millions. AccessiBe explains that accessibility is also considered a big deal for businesses as they cannot afford to lose more than 20% of their prospective audience, especially when US Labor Department estimates that the population has a purchasing power of over $200 billion.
There are many things like the layout, navigation, and color rules that are to be taken care of in terms of web design. However, not everyone can access the websites in the same way. If you work towards improving the overall customer experience, it can offer relief from penalties for non-compliance and better results online. The lawyers and judicial experts also say that the best approach to avoid ADA-related problems is to be proactive in ensuring compliance. It is a fact that the government has not yet defined the exact legal standards for web accessibility. However, those who are seeking a regulatory change may be disappointed to hear about the Public Accommodation Regulations for websites by DOJ, which came out in 2016.
The most reassuring fact is that the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG now offer the perfect standards for ensuring web accessibility compliance. When the DOJ tries to sort out the legal definition and regulations for website accessibility compliance, they have been referring to the WCAG standards as a guideline in the lawsuits and decrees. It means that businesses with websites should be prepared to meet the WCAG 2.0 level-A standards at the minimum.
When it comes to accessibility compliance, the primary objective is to ensure layout and color compliance. However, considering various types of disabilities people have, not everyone can access the websites alike. When a designer does not follow the header tag judiciously or forgets to name all the subheads, it will restrict the reader from navigating properly through the website with the use of a screen reader. Another example is providing all text to images, which will give proper insights to the users who cannot view the page.
As AccessiBe reiterates, ensuring proper functionalities related to all these types of challenges are important to ensure ADA compliance for your business website.