Web accessibility means ensuring that people with disabilities can use your website and web services. Despite the prevalence of myths to the contrary, most accessibility improvements are improvements for everyone.
There are many reasons for taking web accessibility seriously - moral, social, business opportunity, legal, SEO - but sometimes it can feel like a daunting task. The first step is engaging in the process, finding out what sort of shape your website is in, and once armed with this information, creating a sustainable process of improving, monitoring and testing the site.
Our process of auditing and reporting will help you understand what your accessibility goals are, where improvements can be made, and help you embed accessibility into your organisation and practices.
Understanding your vision
Maria, our certified Web Accessibility Specialist, will lead the process of auditing the site. Initially she’ll work with you to understand your goals. You may wish to become WCAG Level AA compliant, to make the site more usable for a particular user group or just understand what shape your site is in.
Using a tool based on AXE Core, developed by Deque, we’ll run automated tests on a very large number of pages on your site. Automated testing can reliably only catch 25% of accessibility issues, however the broad-spectrum tests will show us patterns of issues on the site that we may not catch with more focused manual testing.
The next stage is to carry out in-depth manual accessibility tests on a smaller number of pages of the site. These tests include reviewing the design, content, operability and interactions of the site. We test using a range of platforms, tools and assistive technologies, including popular mobile and desktop screen readers, voice to text and screen magnification software.
Testing with people with lived experience of disability and assistive technology
We highly recommend getting feedback from a wide range of people with lived experience of disability, who use assistive technology as part of their day-to-day lives. This can happen as part of the initial audit, or after the first round of issues have been resolved, depending on the level of barriers the site presents.
Reporting and next steps
We will compile our findings in to one or both of the following:
- A high-level report: an overview of the accessibility of the website and our recommended next steps.
- A technical backlog of issues for development: a full list of accessibility issues, with enough background and details and recommendations to be actioned immediately. Each issue will have enough information to understand the issue, prioritise it and remediate it. We always try to write the accessibility recommendation in plain English.
Next steps could include:
- On-going monitoring
- Publishing an accessibility statement
- PDF / document testing
Get in touch to discuss your accessibility audit.