WCAG Compliance Auditing
Sect 508 & ADA Website Compliance Testing Starts With WCAG Accessibility Auditing
The Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) is the defacto standard for the Americans with Disabilities Act (commercial entities) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (public entities) compliance for digital properties and content. Web apps and mobile apps are considered subject as well, but the overwhelming priority and legal focus has been on websites. The best practices for maximum accessiblity and legal protection for your mobile or online software is the same for websites which combines machine and human testing. We start with a 3 step WCAG audit that includes automated scanning, human assistive technology testing, and manual UX and code reviews. Whether you need section 508 or ADA website compliance testing, our audits are performed by web accessibility experts. All senior level with more than 17 years of experience providing thorough WCAG audits.
A few quick points to be aware of:
- Beware of growing silver bullet solutions that promise a cheap and quick solution with buzzwords like "AI".
- The risk is real and growing, and not expected to go away.
- There are three steps to the process: Website WCAG Audit followed by remediation, and then verification.
- Automated testing alone can only detect ~30-50% of WCAG issues.
But the first question to ask is where are you in the lifecycle of your website? Has your website been refreshed in the past 4 or 5 years? No? Then consider saving your money on WCAG auditing and website remediation, and invest in a fresh WCAG compliant web site built by web accessibility designers and developers specializing in 508 / ADA compliant websites.
If you’re set with your current site and want to move ahead with Auditing & Remediation, here is what that looks like:
WCAG Website Auditing Plans for Sect 508 & ADA Compliance
To ensure that people with disabilities can access your website and its content, and to reduce legal exposure, we offer three levels web accessibility auditing.
1. 360° WCAG HUMAN AUDIT & REMEDIATION GUIDE
This package provides the most comprehensive web accessibility audit, and the most useful reporting guide for remediation. It follows best practices for ADA and Section 508 website auditing. The scope and cost is based on the number and complexity of the "unique pages" of a website, web app or mobile application. Unique pages include templates and those with unique components, and together provide a representative scope of the website.
360° WCAG AUDITING PROCESS
1. Automated WCAG Testing
In this process we will use multiple systems to thoroughly test the site. We start by using top industry software for site-wide testing and issue documentation. While software is effective in catching the broad volume of issues, software is “dumb” and can only identify ~30% of issue types. Software alone cannot provide thourough web accessibility and WCAG compliance auditing.
2. Human WCAG Testing
All templates and unique pages are identified and tested so that systemic errors can be identified and remediation applied across the entire system in an efficient manner. In addition to manual code testing, we use color contrast analyzers, code inspections tools, and MSAA Inspector, which exposes the communication between the application and the Accessibility API layer, which then translates information to the screen readers.
3. Assistive Technology Testing
The third and final step of the testing process is to test using assistive technologies. At this point, the majority of the issues have been identified. But here we put ourselves into the position of the disabled individual and navigate through core use-cases and templates. In so doing, we identify the particular pain points that various Assistive technologies (ATs) have within an experience. The desktop ATs used for this testing include JAWS, NVDA, Zoom Text, and Dragon Naturally Speaking. For mobile we test using TalkBack for Android and VoiceOver for iOS.
360° WCAG AUDIT DELIVERABLES
The 360° Audit Report is more than an audit, its a remediation guide that's designed specifically for designers, developers, and content managers to efficiently remediate the website. The WCAG audit not only identifies where and what each issue is, but provides everything your team will need for remediation. Additionally, we provide a spreadsheet, which for every issue, indicates a level of severity and then priority for project managers to properly manage the project and record process. We also provide a number of hours for on-call remediation consulting, although those hours are seldom used, which shows that our reporting provides everything that remediation teams require.
2. KEYPAGE WCAG HUMAN AUDIT & REMEDIATION GUIDE
The cost of a full 360° Audit that includes all unique pages and components can become too expensive for cost-conscious teams. A Keypage Audit includes all methods and deliverables of the 360° Audit and reduces the number of unique pages and therefore cost to align with the budget of the client.
3. AUTOMATED WCAG AUDIT
Many take a phased approach to web accessibility starting with an automate audit. Using top industry software we will scan the entire website and provide reporting that will identify issues and provide remediation guidance for each.
The volume of issues that typically come from a website audit can be overwhelming. This service takes the output of our auditing software and provides human analysis to establish the priority level for each issue. We break down the audit into 5 priority categories, and then segment issues in each category into 5 subsequent levels based on severity. This way you can best proceed with remediation based on priority.
Beware of Quick & Cheap Solutions
The demand is high for quick, easy and inexpensive WCAG compliance auditing and remediation solutions, and there are a growing number of short-cut overlay "solution" providers trying to take advantage of that demand. While they sound good - especially those claiming AI, ultimately they fail to deliver true website accessibility for people with disabiltites. They not only fail to provide adequate legal protection, many believe that overlay widgets attract trolling law firms. Here is why.
What Sets Us Apart
Our company combines a web development team with a web accessibility consultancy. Our developers continuously learn new ways to ensure our websites are compliant, and our web accessibility consultants are exposed to evolving web development techniques. Ultimately our accessibility consulting team is highly technical and uniquely qualified to provide ADA and 508 compliance guidance quickly and effectively.
We are also not one of the big players. We can go toe to toe on depth and quality, but without corporate clutter. Our clients get direct access to qualified experts who deliver needed answers quickly.
As others focus on taking recurring subscription costs, we're the opposite. With us, you only pay for what you get... and need.
We also pride ourselves as pragmatists who understand the realities of budgets, business and risk manegment. That combined with over 25 years in website development and digital marketing, make us the perfect partner to bring your website into compliance.