Accessibility Isn't Optional: Partnering for a Future-Proof Website

Digital accessibility has become a business priority given that more brands are more committed with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and understand the importance of creating accessible digital experiences for their potential customers.

In this article, we will walk you through the basics such as the concept of website accessibility, and its importance for your business. Later we will discuss the reasons to consider working with an accessibility expert, and the aspects you should consider when looking for a website accessibility partner:

What is website accessibility

Why website accessibility is important for your business?

Reasons to consider working with an accessibility expert

Aspects to evaluate when looking for a website accessibility partner

What is website accessibility?

Website accessibility is a group of ongoing best practices implemented in the design and development of websites to ensure that any visitor can access and navigate seamlessly regardless of any impairment they might have.

Maintaining website accessibility is not a one-time task during launch. It requires ongoing attention, it is a journey and needs to be checked fast and continuously because of evolving regulations, the importance of avoiding potential legal action, and ensuring that the latest content provides a consistent and inclusive user experience for everyone.

Why website accessibility is important for your business?

Mitigate legal risks:

There is a lot of legal guidance about design and development practices that businesses must comply with to minimize legal and financial risks. For instance:

Make sure you familiarize yourself and be up to date with these standards, so you do not have to face repercussions like getting sued for lacking an accessible website.

Rank higher in search engines:

Accessibility is not a direct ranking factor. However, Google values user experience when ranking pages, and prioritizing accessibility not only in desktop versions but also in mobile versions for responsiveness, is an effective way to have a website that offers a better user experience that leads to lower bounce rates, increased engagement and consequently to perform better in terms of SEO.

In addition, from the technical point of view, search engines like Google will understand better your website’s content, when crawling and indexing, based on your accessibility features like website structure, descriptive headings, and proper use of alt text for images, among others. But one specific feature is the readability which can potentially skyrocket your website visibility due to the voice search that is becoming more popular lately.

Improve your brand reputation:

According to the World Health Organization, 16%  of the world’s population have a disability, which represents over 1 billion people worldwide. This growing number is showing the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion of people with disabilities in businesses. Implementing website accessibility best practices sends a positive message that demonstrates your commitment to inclusivity and social responsibility.Besides, websites that provide a good digital experience encourage people to return, value your brand, and recommend it to others fostering brand loyalty.

Reasons to consider working with a website accessibility expert:

Probably if your business does not have a large team dedicated to accessibility, or your current team does not have the expertise or the proper tools, you should consider finding an expert consultant who can partner with you in the journey of ensuring your website is accessible.

  1. Accessibility experts have a deep understanding and continuous updating of the guidelines and standards we discussed in the second section of this article. They can also have experience in using the most accurate tools and screen readers to audit, identify, and address accessibility issues effectively, ensuring compliance at any desired level: A, AA, or AAA. Do not underestimate the time and resources you could save with an expert who can guide you much faster and properly.

  2. Having an outside perspective will help you to identify areas of improvement that your current team does not overlook due to familiarity with the website.

  3. Experts can help you develop a comprehensive accessibility strategy that goes beyond basic compliance. This strategy can guide your website’s future development and ensure long-term accessibility for all users.

  4. Access to complex user testing with a wider pool of individuals with disabilities and in a structured manner will help your business to navigate deeper into the performance of your website in terms of accessibility and implement recommendations tailored to your unique user experience challenges.

In the following infographic you can discover some activities that you can take in-house as a good starting point for website accessibility and a list of actions that require a deeper understanding of accessibility standards, specialized tools, and user testing methodologies that we recommend addressing with a website accessibility partner:
Post 54 - Website Accessibility

Aspects to evaluate when looking for a website accessibility partner:

  • Make sure that your next partner works with cutting-edge technology for testing, implementing, monitoring, and reporting against the standards along with expert support in areas like audits, training, accessibility policy development, legal compliance expertise, and strategic consulting.

  • Avoid partners that promise quick fixes and 100% automated detection and remediation of website accessibility issues. Even though automation could be a powerful tool to detect some technical aspects, it can miss issues related to complex user experience, content, navigation, and the chance to test with real users to get valuable insights.

  • Check that the methodology for accessibility testing of your partner includes manual testing with assistive technologies and automated testing.

  • Ask for a roadmap strategy to prioritize the ongoing best practices implementations for your website accessible.

  • Evaluate your candidates’ previous projects and verify these are accessible. You can use free online tools or ask one of your team members to do this evaluation.

  • Make sure your team will get a strong training offering and a commitment to support them to include accessibility in their daily work.

In conclusion, website accessibility is about an ongoing strategy of creating an inclusive online experience that welcomes everyone. It fosters brand loyalty, expands your audience reach, and boosts search engine ranking. While internal efforts are a commendable start, a website accessibility expert like BrainyYack can be your game-changer.

BrainyYack’s expertise in technology, website design, and development goes beyond the surface. We take a holistic approach, combining cutting-edge automated testing with human experience and user testing. We help you navigate accessibility standards, develop a long-term accessibility strategy, and ensure your website remains compliant and user-friendly over time. Contact us today, we can help you to create a website that is accessible to everyone or evaluate and update your current one.

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