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How Digital Agencies Should Promote Web Accessibility Compliance

About 15% of the World’s population experience some form of disability. This corresponds to about 1.3 billion people worldwide.

People with accessibility needs may use assistive technologies to access the web. When websites are not accessible, people are denied access to essential information, products, and services.

What’s more, businesses could lose out on a huge market opportunity. In the UK the online spending power of the purple pound is an estimated 16 billion pounds and in the US, people with disabilities have $175 billion in discretionary spending.

Why Is Web Accessibility Important?

Web accessibility refers to the practice of making digital products and content accessible to people with disabilities. 

It’s a no-brainer that the market for people with disabilities shouldn’t be ignored. With businesses turning to digital agencies for website development and other marketing activities, the responsibility lies with such agencies to ensure that their clients’ websites are accessible.

More so, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), mandates businesses to make their websites accessible. Inaccessible websites risk legal action. No digital agency wants to be associated with the fines and bad PR associated with a law suit. How can digital agencies comply?

How to Make Websites Accessible

Agencies can either integrate accessibility into their development process from scratch manually, or rely on automated accessibility solutions to remediate their clients’ sites. Here are my recommendations.

Educate your clients

It’s the primary duty of digital agencies to inform their clients of the potential risks involved in having inaccessible websites. Agencies should also educate clients on the best course of action they can take to ensure their websites are accessible.

Webinars, ebooks, case studies are all good content marketing techniques employable to raise awareness and foster participation in the web accessibility drive. Agencies that lead such drives will definitely benefit from a better brand image and increased demand generation.

Carry out Web accessibility Audits

A web accessibility audit is the process of analyzing a website to detect accessibility issues. Depending on the scope of the audit and size of the website, there are a number of tools that I recommend; WAVE by WebAim and Accessi by Equally AI.

The great part about using an audit tool like Accessi is that it’s free and powered by a leading web accessibility SaaS company.

The process of auditing a website shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to hours depending on the size of the website. I’d also advise using a web accessibility consultant who is disabled. This way, you’ll get your website thoroughly checked and tested.

Use a Web Accessibility Solution

Automated solutions like Equally AI replace the manual process of making a website compliant with accessibility laws. All you need to do is add a single line of JavaScript to your website and the software will scan it, making it compliant in 24 to 48 hours. To find out more about the process of integrating Equally AI into a website, you can check out our resources on integration. It’s incredible how far an automated tool can take you! Equally AI’s tools analyze the functionality of every element on a website and adjust the user interface components and keyboard navigation. Our technology monitors websites round the clock to ensure that accessibility compliance is maintained. Having an automated web accessibility solution in your pocket would be highly beneficial for digital agencies considering the expectations of your clients regarding this fairly new website risk factor.

Maintain Your Achievements

To ensure that your clients’ stay up to date with accessibility compliance modifications, encourage them to regularly review their website content as it changes. Additionally, by performing accessibility checks during the publishing process, they can reduce the risk of accessibility issues. 

A good web accessibility solution will provide your clients with a template for reporting accessibility issues and a consistent method of evaluation.

Lastly, advise your clients to assess the progress made towards their accessibility objectives based on their assigned responsibilities and planned schedules. This includes progress on:

  • Accessible digital products
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Staff training

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