Accessibility is essential for any business website. Several valuable site accessibility tools can help determine whether your website is accessible to people with disabilities.
Further, programs exist to help blind individuals and differently-abled people access information online, but those tools may not work correctly when a website isn’t optimized for accessibility.
One of the questions businesses must ask is: how can I test my website for accessibility? Whether you’re a small business that has just a handful of pages or an enterprise-class website with thousands of pages, it’s challenging to test accessibility without a program that looks at every tiny detail within the website’s code.
Fortunately, tools to check site accessibility are common and helpful. It’s just a matter of taking a look at the features of each of these tools and deciding which one might work best for your company’s design team. Further, using these types of tools and creating a site that anyone can access helps companies not run afoul of legislation designed to ensure websites are accessible.
For example, the United States Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) contains a section requiring all public areas to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Failing to follow rules like Title III of the ADA opens up the business to lawsuits and legal troubles, even if the website is owned by a private entity and isn’t a government-funded website fully bound by the rules of the ADA.
Let’s explore the tools your company can use to ensure legal compliance and give every individual of every ability the chance to access your website. Exploring these apps and programs can help you create a website accessibility testing checklist that your website designers can employ each time they create a new page or make a website for your company.
What are website accessibility tools?
Web accessibility tools are programs or applications (apps) that scan a website to determine whether it is accessible to visitors with disabilities. These tools usually work at any time, from website development to publishing. These programs measure whether a site is WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) compliant. WCAG guidelines explain how to make content accessible to people with disabilities.
For example, the program or app will check whether the website is fully functional without a mouse, as well as whether all images have “alt” text that allows screen readers used by blind people to understand what’s on each web page.
Assistive technologies help individuals with disabilities browse the internet as any user might. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 adults living in the United States lives with a disability. Achieving full accessibility means ensuring the largest number of potential clients, customers, and contacts can access a website.