Introduction

Meeting WCAG Guidelines

Meeting WCAG Guidelines

Meeting WCAG Guidelines If you run a business and would like to avoid costly lawsuits, you probably take steps to ensure your business complies with standards imposed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, such as installing handrails and ramps as well as designating accessible parking spaces near the front of your building. You might not know that your website could violate ADA guidelines, exposing you to possible lawsuits. No formal standards exist for sites to follow, but some web designers have compiled web content accessibility guidelines or WCAG. This article covers the main points on which you must focus to avoid ending up on the wrong side of a civil case. Text to Speech Ensuring that your website is accessible by the blind and those with poor vision is important if you don't wish to violate the WCAG. You need to determine if the text on your website is coded in a way that makes it compatible with the text-to-speech software. Text-to-speech software translates the words on your site to audio people can hear from their speakers or headphones. If your website prevents that software from translating your text, you are in violation and at risk for lawsuits. Video Transcripts In the eyes of the law, people with hearing impairments have a right to enjoy your video content as much as anyone else can. Not all website owners understand this concept and don't always follow it, but they can end up facing steep lawsuits if they don't update their websites. If you have videos or other audio content on your site, you must also have text transcripts so that people with poor hearing can read them. Keyboard Commands Most people navigate to websites and use the mouse to point on and click links and other digital content. Some websites have interactive elements that explain products or let consumers view a variety of options. Some people have conditions that prevent them from using a mouse properly, and your website needs to consider those people. The law requires your website to let people use keyboard commands to perform all functions. In other words, your web visitors must be able to navigate to each webpage and interact with every element with the keyboard in case they can't use a standard mouse. Compliance Audit If you are like most business owners, you hired a web designer to set up your website because you don't know how to do it. You need to contact a web designer to review and update your content so that you can safeguard yourself from future lawsuits. To make sure you are out of harm's way, consider hiring a WCAG compliance auditor to verify you did not miss any critical steps. The auditor you hire will test all parts of your website and ensure you are on the right side of the law, giving you peace of mind. Final Thoughts Keeping your business on track and staying on the right side of the law requires you to make your website accessible by people with disabilities. While no set standard exists, most experts agree you will be safe as long as you follow WCAG guidelines. Some people overlook the importance of making their digital content compliant with these regulations. They can face many problems and lawsuits as a result of their oversight, and you don't want to do that. Making sure your site is legal might be a challenge, but it prevents a lot of trouble over the long run. The past few years have seen an increase in the number of businesses facing lawsuits related to web content accessibility guidelines, or WCAG. These guidelines are not a formal law, but they help companies avoid violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Most businesses don't know they are in violation until they face legal action, so it's vital all professionals understand and implement these guidelines so that they can stay out of trouble. This article explores WCAG and what steps people must take to safeguard their websites and businesses from civil action.

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