Website accessibility is about making your website user-friendly for everyone, including those with disabilities. However, achieving this isn't as simple as it sounds. Let's break it down.
Here's where things get tricky. Because everyone is different, what works for one person might not work for another. Let's say some users prefer a minimalist website with lots of white space because it's easier for them to concentrate. But for others, this might mean a lot of scrolling, which can be cumbersome. Balancing these diverse needs is challenging; we can't always make everything perfect for everyone. But that doesn't stop us from trying our best!
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to help navigate these challenges. These guidelines are categorized into three levels of accessibility:
For most websites on the internet, level AA and some level AAA is the target that needs to be hit.
Regardless of the level you aspire to create, every website needs an accessibility statement (see ours here). This statement outlines your commitment to accessibility and provides a way for users to contact you if they encounter problems. In many court cases where website owners were penalized, it wasn't the specific accessibility issue that led to their downfall but their lack of responsiveness and empathy when these problems were pointed out. Just like Nixon!
If you aim for full AAA compliance with the accessibility standards, you may want to consider getting professional help. Some specialists can perform thorough accessibility audits and guide you on how to fix any issues. However, be prepared for significant costs for such services, often in the 5-figure range just for the audits (and that's before any work is done to fix the problems).
Making a website accessible is no easy feat—it's a complex process with many factors to consider. But despite the challenges, our commitment is to do our best and make the web a more inclusive space. Always remember that everyone deserves to use the web easily. Together, we can make that a reality.