Website Architecture Planning | Accessibility Testing

Website Architecture Planning | Accessibility Testing

Website Accessibility Best Practices and Standards October 14, 2017 by Garenne Bigby

Website Accessibility Best Practices and Standards

In recent years, there have been a number of lawsuits and court cases regarding web accessibility. While physical venues have clearly defined regulations to adhere by, there has been no such official guides for websites. Seven years ago, the Department of Justice (DOJ) began laying down the foundations for just such a document, a process which was expected to come to fruition in 2018.

However, thanks to a January 30th Executive Order signed by President Trump, it is highly unlikely that the DOJ’s adoption of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) will still be able to take place. In the meantime, accessibility lawsuits are expected to increase in number as website owners have a lack of official, governmental regulation on recommended practices.

Which is why we’ve decided to research what the best accessibility practices are, and provide you with the guidance being withheld from you.

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How Website Accessibility Affect Persons with Disabilities

Web users are a very diverse group of people. The internet spans the globe and allows people across ages and nations to communicate and interact. Each user brings unique perspectives, histories and opinions to the worldwide forum. There are, however, some differences between the users. These differences are not limited to just location or language differences. Some web users have lives that are complicated with lifelong disabilities. These extra challenges do not stop them from getting the benefits of being connected to the digital world.

Accessibility is necessary and can be added to web functionality by means of tools, additional software or even special training. Having a disability might be an obstacle, but there are still plenty of ways to navigate the web.

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Web Accessibility Lawsuits Set to Increase Under Trump October 11, 2017 by Garenne Bigby

Web Accessibility Lawsuits Set to Increase Under Trump

In the Middle Ages, persons with disabilities were considered “cursed” and often shunned or even put to death. Today, however, we have come to understand the medical causes for disabilities that arise from complications in the birthing process or due to genetic abnormalities. Modern man is, on the whole, better educated on disabilities, and therefore less prejudiced against those who have them—for whatever reason.

As awareness has increased, so too have efforts been made to better accommodate persons with physical or mental disabilities, including difficulties with speech and/or learning. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title III thereof, strictly prohibits any discrimination made on the basis of a disability.

Originally, the ADA focused on physical venues, particularly areas of public accommodation. These are spaces and businesses that are generally open to the public, and fall into one of 12 categories as described in the ADA. Examples include schools, day care facilities, recreation venues, movie theaters, restaurants, and doctors’ offices. Under the legislation, new buildings are required to comply with the standards set in the ADA, as are those that are being renovated. This extends to areas that exist as commercial facilities as well.

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Web Accessibility Compliance and Your Organization September 27, 2017 by Garenne Bigby

Web Accessibility Compliance and Your Organization

While accessibility measures are meant to be an inclusive means to provide people with disabilities the same opportunities as those without disabilities, they are also used to improve the general user experience for any service, device or infrastructure.

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4 principles of accessibility

The success criteria and guidelines are designed around these 4 principles that make up the foundation that is necessary for any individual to access and use any content on the web. Any individual that wants to use the web has to have content that is operable, perceivable, robust, and understandable. This is a new design for organizing the WCAG guidelines into principles. When you execute these groups of guidelines, these principles are accomplished successfully. The overall goal is to succeed in these 4 principles, and if any of these 4 principles does not succeed, then any users with disabilities will unfortunately experience difficulties when trying to use the website.

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