What is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)?
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines is a set of standards that help make web content more accessible to disabled people. It is set by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which is an organization that sets standards for the internet, worldwide. It was designed to help people with a number of disabilities, including hearing and vision problems, learning disabilities, and limited movement, on multiple devices, such as personal computers and mobile devices.
How does the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) apply to website design?
The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. This protects individuals from many, including businesses. A civil rights law suit is definitely not good for a business’ reputation, so it’s best to not exclude disabled people in your audience.
How to check if my website is accessible?
The guidelines can be difficult to understand. Accessibility issues that you can check on your own include ensuring images used throughout your website have Alt-Text, making it accessible for people with vision problems, make sure there are not rapidly flashing lights or elements, testing all hyperlinks and testing the functionality of all contact forms and phone numbers. For restaurants specifically, make sure that the text of your menu is legible, especially if it is simply a PDF upload. The zoom feature on a PDF is not considered a compliancy element. You can always contact us by visiting https://www.danieljamesconsulting.com/contact-us to request a platform audit.
What happens if my website is not WCAG compliant?
There are a number of issues that can arise when your website isn’t WCAG compliant. There are way more people on the internet that rely on these guidelines than you may think. By not complying, your page faces serious backlash and judgment. Nowadays, it is very difficult to get past critics online, especially when they are commenting on your lack of accommodations to the disabled. Additionally, websites that are not compliant may suffer from lower SEO rankings. This means that your website may appear lower on search engines than they would if they were compliant, which is a huge issue in today’s digital world.
More importantly, there are possible legal repercussions. There have been tons of lawsuits against businesses because their websites were not accessible, and they are becoming more and more frequent as time goes on. A website legally does not have to be WCAG compliant, but it does have to be accessible to people with disabilities.
It’s best to follow the WCAG guidelines to avoid confrontations or legal troubles. It is likely that the government will set rules for web accessibility, so following the preexisting international guidelines is the safest and easiest option.
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