ADA WCAG Website Remediation Guide
The process of WCAG website remediation begins with the audit reporting. This will take many forms - depending on whether you use an ADA accessibility consultant or choose to forgo that cost. For the process of remediation workflow, its best if the audit comes in the form of a spreadsheet. Its also an important point when shopping for an ADA website consultant to ask specifically about the reporting. Get samples. Make sure it not only lists violations but most importantly provides guidance for remediation. This is a very good reason to invest in a WCAG accessibility consultant who can provide reporting with that includes technical guidance and to provide on-going tech support throughout remediation. Without that expertise, your development team will waste a lot of time doing research and a process of trial and error.
Now, the news isn't all bad. One way to save money is to segment the report between those issues that can be addressed through your content management system (CMS), and those issues that require your development team. The perfect example here are image alt tags - which should be addressable through the CMS. If not, get a better CMS next time.
ADA remediation will likely require you to readdress design elements to account for poor vision and color blindness. Page elements need to pass specific levels of contrast, and color cannot be used as the sole indicator of function (think text links).
WCAG remediation will also require your developers to rewrite aspects of the code. This should not require a full rebuild of page templates. Just cleanup to eliminate keyboard traps, address labeling, and provide efficient navigation of pages and the website. Make sure your dev team at least studies WebAIM's WCAG 2.0 Checklist.
Once you've addressed all items in the report. Have your web remediation consultant run the testing process again to verify.
Since many violations are caused by content contributors to your website, make sure they are trained to ensure they don't continue. The primary things they need to know is to make sure a descriptive alt text is applied to any image. They also will need to use Headings (H1, H2, H3, H4) sequentially on the page.
ADA WCAG Website Remediation Summary Tips
- Hire an ADA audit and remediation consultant to guide the entire team. This will save development costs down the road.
- Get Audit Report in speadsheet format
- Require your dev team to study WebAIM's WCAG 2.0 Checklist
- Segment report between CMS and Dev issues and use internal resources to address CMS items.
- Be prepared to go back to the design process.
- Be prepared to adjust templates.
- Run final remediation testing.
- Train content contributors to avoid on-going violations.