The Americans with Disabilities Act extends in a far broader way than many people are aware, touching public accommodations across the entire United States. This extends to websites, which, as digital places, must be accessible to anyone, regardless of any physical or intellectual handicap. This is where the WCAG, or Website Content Accessibility Guidelines, comes into play.
What is WCAG?
As noted by the WCAG experts at Audio Eye, WCAG is, “a set of web standards that aim to make the Internet a more inclusive and accessible space for all.” By adhering to WCAG, websites and businesses are ensuring that all of the content that they offer on their websites are accessible to anyone.
More to the point, adhering to WCAG standards is good business, legally required, and a moral statement: Creating a WCAG-compliant website means you are telling people that you value them and are willing to put in the extra work to ensure that anyone can come to your website and do business with you.
What is the WCAG 2.0 standard?
WCAG 2.0 is a response to the changing technology of the internet. It goes without saying that websites have evolved extensively in the thirty years or so that they have been publicly accessible. As a result, accessibility standards have to change.
WCAG 2.0 is an update to what accessibility truly means. It contains a variety of updates that deal with changing technological elements of websites and making sure that these websites are still accessible to people with disabilities. It also addresses ensuring that mobile websites are compliant with WCAG.
Adhering to WCAG standards is critical in this evolving technological landscape, as is keeping an eye on the ever-changing guidelines in order to ensure that your business’ website meets all required standards.
How Do I Make My Website WCAG Compliant?
Fortunately, this isn’t too hard, as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort. WCAG compliance software can be purchased that can allow your website to become WCAG compliant.
Depending on the tool you purchase, WCAG tools will complete a variety of functions. Most commonly, these tools will scan your website and check for compliance blind spots. These tools will also make recommendations about what specific steps you need to take in order to make your website WCAG compliant.
Barring using one of these tools, you can always scan your website on your own and ensure that your website can be read by talk-to-text software, as well as ensure that all images have alternative text descriptions.
However, a manual scan is likely to miss many items, and this also requires that you keep up-to-date on all evolving standards – something that a piece of software can automatically do for you.
Adhering to WCAG standards is unquestionably a legal requirement, but it’s also good business, as doing so ensures that you are reaching out to a group of people often wrongly forgotten by the business world. The little bit of time and money that you invest into making your website WCAG compliant can go a long way towards ensuring that you can connect with all customers, regardless of their disabilities.