How To Check Your Web Accessibility

Web accessibility is not only about being on the good side of the law—it’s the right thing to do. With billions of people relying on the internet daily, you want to ensure that no user is excluded from your site. 

Ensuring an accessible website is critical for business, practical, and legal reasons. If you’re thinking about making a major website overhaul to make it more inclusive and accessible, you’re probably wondering where to start. 

Experts suggest auditing your website and determining how ‘accessible’ your website exactly is. In this article, we’re sharing several methods you can try to get some idea of how well your site delivers some of the basics of web accessibility.

Web Accessibility: The What And Why

Web accessibility refers to the extent to which a website can be used by all people, particularly those with impairments and disabilities. This may include people who have low vision or are blind, have mobility impairments, those who have difficulty in hearing or are deaf, suffer from cognitive disabilities, and so much more.

As a website owner, you want to ensure that you’re not excluding these people. Developing an accessible website makes you more compliant with different laws and regulations. Designing for web accessibility also makes your effort more successful overall. It helps improve overall experience and satisfaction for all web users and customers, supporting your SEO strategies, and is a good way to show inclusive company values

4 Ways To Check Your Web Accessibility

Web accessibility can have positive impacts on your business and reputation. But, before you can implement accessibility design and strategies, it’s best to have a better overview of your current website and whether or not it offers accessibility features. Here are some methods on how to check for your website’s accessibility.

1. Leverage An Online Accessibility Checker

One of the best and quickest ways to check for your website’s accessibility is using an accessibility checker. It is a reliable software used to evaluate the accessibility of a website and its pages.

In general, most accessibility checkers test your website against compliance with accessibility standards, including Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the European Accessibility Act (EAA).

Most accessibility checkers are easy to use and may only require the URL of your website or page you want to evaluate. It will instantly check the page and provide a report showing you potential issues or errors with accessibility.

In addition to generating a general assessment, most accessibility checkers also provide feedback on how you can improve your web pages to enhance accessibility. This makes them a valuable tool when designing a more accessible and inclusive website.

2. Manual Checking

A manual approach to checking accessibility issues can be time-consuming and laborious. However, it is a more thorough technique and free to all website owners. Manual checking can also be a supplementary approach to your web accessibility assessment.

If you go this route, you want to use a checklist to ensure a thorough assessment. For instance, you can use the WCAG 2.0 checklist to go over your website. It includes questions that help you determine the level of accessibility in specific areas of your site.

Web Accessibility

3. Install A Browser Extension

Aside from an online accessibility checker software, you can download and install a web browser plugin that helps automatically check for accessibility issues. Depending on the extension, you can easily test a page for accessibility problems and debug focus problems.

Some extension adds a visual overlay of error ions and indications to a page you’re auditing. Once clicked, these icons can provide information and suggestions about the accessibility issues detected. Some extensions may also point out ‘troublesome’ code through an annotated HTML and even provide recommended code snippets for every error.

4. Outsource A Web Accessibility Expert

If you have the budget, one of the best ways to audit your website’s accessibility properly is by hiring experts. Outsourcing a web accessibility expert is an excellent choice for any website but is particularly beneficial for those who wish to make accessibility a core value of their online business.   

Hiring the expert can help pinpoint even the most minor accessibility issues that any of the above methods may have missed. Aside from meticulously evaluating your website, a web accessibility expert can also provide the necessary solutions to improving your web accessibility.

Takeaway

The points above are just some of the ways to check for the level of accessibility your website has. By having a basic idea of how inclusive and accessible your website is, you can better plan the right strategies to cater to all users, including those with disabilities and impairments.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan