Did you know that there has been a 300% increase in web accessibility lawsuits since 2018?
It has been incorporated into the civil rights legislation of countries all over the world to protect people with disabilities.
This is critical information for web agencies. Over 90% of business owners expect their web agency to make their website accessible and inform them of their obligations.
So given the rise in lawsuits and the expectations of your clients, web accessibility is a BIG deal for web agencies.
But what exactly am I talking about?
What is web accessibility?
If you’re not familiar with the concept, let me cover a quick overview.
Due to updates and adjustments in civil rights legislation around the world, business-related websites are now expected to be accessible for people with disabilities.
To be more specific, people affected by auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, or visual disabilities, should be able to navigate, understand, and interact with a website without prejudice.
Web accessibility is no longer a “nice-to-have” but an essential part of your client’s digital presence. Every image, attribute, icon, button, form, and interaction needs to be assessed from the perspective of a person with a disability.
How do you know if a site is accessible?
Given web accessibility expectations have increased dramatically in recent years, many websites are not optimized appropriately. In fact, a whopping 98% of all websites are inaccessible.
That means that many of your clients’ websites could be inaccessible and exposed to legal action.
Whether or not a site is considered accessible comes down to the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.1 level AA requirements.
I know… it’s a mouthful!
Luckily, there are tools available that can determine whether a site is accessible in the click of a button. Rather than you drowning in legal documentation.
aCe is one of those tools.
aCe is a tool powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that gives you an immediate answer on whether or not a website is legally compliant under web accessibility laws. All you need to do is enter your domain and it spits out a detailed audit with in-depth explanations about the website’s compliance.
It scans your website for accessibility errors and tells you exactly where you need to make improvements.
You’ll get feedback on a range of website elements, including:
- Buttons, links and other clickables
- Menus and site navigation
- Images and alt text
- Page layouts
- Orientation and popups
- Form validations
The cool thing about aCe is it’s free to use, extremely accurate because it’s underpinned by the best technology, and super fast to get a report.
What can you do to make a site accessible?
Ok, great, so you’ve tested the accessibility of your website with aCe, but what if it’s not compliant?
aCe provides a range of recommendations in its accessibility report including a grading of “Compliant,” “Semi-Compliant,” or “Non-Compliant.” You’re at highest risk of litigation if the report grades your site as Non-Compliant.
Based on this report, you can work with your development team to make changes to the website and then re-test it for compliance. Alternatively, you could use a tool like accessiBe to automate the entire process!
We use it here at JeffBullas.com – here’s what the popup looks like after a user clicks on the accessiBe icon in the bottom right corner:
It’s quite amazing how much an automated tool can do! accessiBe’s Contextual Understanding AI engine analyzes the functionality of every element on your website and adjusts the user interface, keyboard navigation, and screen-reader based on millions of past experiences to make it compliant.
It also monitors your website every 24 hours to ensure that accessibility is upheld over time.
Given the expectations of your clients when it comes to this fairly new website risk factor, having tools like aCe and accessiBe in your back pocket could be highly beneficial to your agency.
Especially seeing more and more people are working remotely, accessibility lawsuits will continue to rise in years to come. Now is the time to get compliant.
accessiBe has a Partner Partner program for agencies that helps you easily prioritize accessibility with your clients. You’ll protect your agency’s reputation and your clients’ from a lawsuit.
The kicker? If your agency is up-to-date with these changes, it could also open up a new revenue stream.
With several simple ways to make a site compliant, there’s no reason to wait for a demand letter before taking action. Plus, it’s the right thing to do.
The post Agencies: Don’t Get Caught Out When It Comes to Web Accessibility appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.