One in five internet users is disabled in some way. Because of this, it is highly recommended that all companies publish a statement about their website’s accessibility.
It’s a statement about accessibility, but what does it mean, exactly?
Which particulars do you need to report? What might a possible format look like? And where exactly should it go on your site? Learn more as we take you step-by-step through the process of drafting a powerful accessibility statement.
What Do You Mean by a “Accessibility Statement?”
A web accessibility statement is a page on your site that explains the level of accessibility your site strives to achieve. It is a common practice to merge accessibility statements and help pages on every website.
Why Should I Publish an Accessibility Statement?
Your company’s commitment to providing accessible information to all members of the public may be reaffirmed with a statement on your website. That’s why no one enjoys being the target of discrimination or scorn.
You may show people with disabilities that you value their visit to your website by including a thorough accessibility statement.
Additionally, accessibility declarations show a company’s dedication to:
There are several rules and regulations that specify how the material should be made accessible so that people with disabilities are not subject to discrimination. The following regulations differ for businesses in the public sector compared to those in the private sector. It is the duty of each organization to ensure compliance with:
- International laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the European Accessibility Act, the Equality Act, and the Disability Discrimination Act.
- Adherence with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Level AA is required by law for a number of websites. This level is usually mentioned when talking about “making a website accessible.”
The Reputation of a Brand
Today’s customers often demand honesty and openness from the companies they patronize. Therefore, you stand to enhance your brand image by openly communicating internal policies and accessibility objectives to the public and detailing how you aim to accomplish them.
Website visitors are encouraged by accessibility statements to inform site administrators when and if any material is inaccessible to them. This enables organizations to pinpoint the parts of their website that fall outside of the existing accessibility goals and develop strategies to address those problems.
What Should an Accessibility Statement Contain?
Writing a great accessibility statement doesn’t have to be difficult, but it should be reviewed and updated often to reflect new developments and any modifications you’ve made.
- How accessible is your website right now?
- A list of other accessible accessibility options.
- Any known restrictions or inaccessible portions of the website.
- Information on how to report accessibility issues.
- Future advancements and accessibility objectives.
Guidelines for Writing an Accessibility Statement
The majority of accessibility statements start with a succinct introduction that declares an unwavering commitment to providing an accessible website. Then you just go through the steps mentioned above, giving the pertinent information for each part. As long as all of these topics are addressed, you should be in good shape as your accessibility statement doesn’t need to be very extensive.
However, there are several more considerations to make:
- Give the page a succinct, relevant title.
- Make sure to explain everything in plain words.
- If the case of acronym usage, one must provide a detailed description the first time one uses it.
- Use headers correctly; just the title should have an H1 tag; all other headings and subheadings should have an H2 to H6 tag.
- Shorten your sentences and paragraphs.
- Use subheadings with numbers or bullets to separate long paragraphs of content.
- Make sure the text is left-aligned.
- Instead of utilizing any footnotes, provide thorough details in the body of the text.
- Give each connection a recognizable name.
- Use sans serif fonts, such as Arial or Helvetica, which are dyslexia-friendly.
- Use a minimum of 12 for text size.
- Describe each picture using an alt text.
- Keep your content free of capitalization and italics.
- Create an HTML publication.
- Use highlighting only for links.
Also, one can use the free online accessibility statement generator provided by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Prove that you’re serious about facilitating access to your site.
Outline your company’s commitment to building a website first. Why is building a website that is accessible so crucial to you? This is your chance to explain to website visitors.
For example, this section of your accessibility statement may be written as follows:
“No matter their ability or technology, [YOUR ORGANIZATION NAME HERE] is committed to ensuring that as many people as possible can access our website. We are actively working to improve the accessibility of our website.”
Mention the Rules That Your Website Abides By
It’s time to list the rules and regulations that your website complies with. You should specify which rules developers used while building your site since the Web Content Accessibility Recommendations (WCAG) and World Wide Web Consortium give guidelines for creating accessible sites.
It may say something like this:
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0, Level AA requirements are presently met by our website.– Name of your organization
To comply with the rules, you may also give explicit details about the things your website offers.
To appropriately show this information, be important to verify which standards your website conforms with. Additionally, make frequent updates as you revamp your website and include new accessibility features.
Find the areas where the website of your company falls short of the mark. You should be honest if your website isn’t in some manner accessible. Additionally, be open and honest about the actions your brand is doing to address this.
This may look something like this: ‘We regret to tell you that we are unable to provide [INSERT WHAT ACCESSIBILITY FEATURE YOUR Web IS MISSING HERE] at this time, despite our best efforts to comply with W3C standards for site accessibility.’
Next, describe the steps your company will take to address this problem. Be precise.
This part of the sentence may look like this: ‘However, we are now working with website accessibility specialists to build [FEATURE] to address this problem, and we anticipate having this done by [DATE].’
Give Your Contact Information
Add your contact information last so that visitors may get in touch with you if they have any queries, grievances, or ideas. Provide your phone number, email address, and location.
Your Accessibility Statement: Placement
What Happens If Your Website Isn’t Currently Usable?
It’s OK if you are working toward improved online inclusion objectives but have not yet reached them. Though you should make the necessary changes as soon as possible, you should still have an accessibility statement on your website.
You want your website to be inclusive of everyone, but you’re committed to making it accessible, but it isn’t yet.
The accessibility requirements you want to satisfy in the future, are usually described in reference to WCAG standards.
Phone numbers and email addresses are traditional ways to provide contact information so individuals with access requirements may inquire about material that is presently inaccessible. If you decide to utilize forms or chat services, however, make sure they are accessible versions.
Best Practices in Accessibility Statements
We’ll go through some best practices to assist you to get started crafting your own accessibility statements now that you have a general idea for them.
Make Sure Your Statement Is Reviewed by an Attorney
Your accessibility statement doesn’t have to seem official; nevertheless, you should have a professional review it before posting it on your website. A knowledgeable legal expert may highlight any issues that might need to be fixed before it’s ready to go public.
Include a Disclaimer Discussing Your Use of Third-Party Plugins and Social Media
Any sponsored material or social networking sites, such as Facebook or other plug-ins, accessible via your site might be disclosed in your disclaimer. All websites should primarily focus on these functions.
A website’s accessibility statement serves as a vital building piece. Furthermore, it must be regarded seriously. All visitors, regardless of who they are, have the right to see your website. Every website developer, writer, owner, or the administrator has a responsibility to ensure that every user has the greatest possible experience, and the accessibility statement outlines how to achieve so. Ensure that your declaration of accessibility is well-written and linked.