WATERLOO, Iowa (June 17, 2016)—If you own a brick-and-mortar business, you likely know and comply with the existing building standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Recent developments in ADA regulations will now include websites as part of Title III of the ADA. This change means your company website(s) will soon be legally required to comply with a set of standards called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).
“Digital marketing is constantly evolving, and while the original principles of accessible web content will remain constant, the specific requirements will need to evolve with technology as it advances,” said Rob Duryea, president of VGM Forbin. “WCAG 2.0 is made up of design and development principles that include criteria which are testable through a mix of automated testing and human evaluation.”
Website accessibility elements that will be mandated by 2018 for privately held companies fall into two groups: visual and functional. Visual accessibility includes the areas of your website that may make it difficult to navigate for people who are totally blind, suffer from color blindness or have light sensitivity. When testing your site for visual accessibility, perform inspections that reveal color contrast in addition to evaluating readability on key action items.
Functional accessibility evaluates how easily someone can interact with your site. Many Internet users navigate using devices such as screen readers or strictly keyboard navigation. Properly testing for functional accessibility can involve a large amount of code inspection. Everything from page headings, structure, tab order, focus events and more need to be thoroughly examined when evaluating a website.
These guidelines provide beneficial and positive results for all users, including those navigating with an assistive device. After a company website is adjusted to fit WCAG, it can reach a wider range of customers, perform better on search engines and further promote the message that all individuals should have equal access to a business.
Gain more information on WCAG 2.0 and your website’s compliance with VGM Forbin’s free webinar on June 22, 2016. Each webinar attendee also receives a free website compliance audit upon request. Learn more and sign up for the webinar today at The Forbin Report.