Are you still tackling digital accessibility through manual checks and on-the-spot fixes, or exclusively using freely available online auditing tools?
First of all, pat yourself on the back for devoting time and effort to this important endeavor. But maybe it’s time to consider upgrading your digital accessibility tools – particularly if you’re responsible for a large website (or several websites) with a lot of dynamic content. Why? Using a more robust, comprehensive accessibility tool can save you time and, in the long-term, dollars with these advantages:
- Get the best of both worlds knowing that your digital content is in the hands of experts whose entire focus is web accessibility – but you maintain the power to make changes independently.
- Gain knowledge and insight on your web approach that can translate to time and cost savings.
- Improve SEO and the overall user experience.
- Avoid lawsuits brought by individuals who encounter accessibility barriers with your digital site.
- Free up staff time to focus on strategic initiatives.
However, options abound, and the selection process can be daunting. Beware of leaping before you look – choosing a product that doesn’t fit your current needs or won’t grow and adapt with your organization wastes your time and money.
Here’s a quick overview of considerations to guide you as you begin researching and evaluating a digital accessibility solution.
Features to Look for in a Digital Accessibility Tool
Look for the following product features, which can enhance the value-add of a digital accessibility checker, providing optimal performance and ROI.
- Support of a full back-end environment with all its capabilities:
- Managing multiple websites
- Collecting website accessibility issues
- Remediating accessibility errors
- Allowing control over end-user menu styling
- Hierarchical structure that allows the purchaser to work with partners who manage their own accounts
- 24/7 scanning of accessibility issues, including dynamic content
- Support debugging on production environment without affecting end-users
- Support implementation on testing environments, which makes it easier to go live on production
- Offline scan – Supports a one-time scan for a full accessibility issues report, without the need to embed a script
- Supports varying permissions for multiple users or roles
In addition to evaluating the tool, make sure you’re comfortable with the reputation and experience level of the vendor:
- Investigate the vendor’s history, track record of satisfied clients and breadth and depth of experience.
- Ask if the vendor developed the software with direct input from people with disabilities.
- Look for a vendor with ISO 27001 Information Security certification (which indicates the company meets international standards for managing information security).
- To conform to data protection requirements on a global level, look for a vendor that meets the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
You can find additional resources on digital accessibility tools and vendors from the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), an international organization dedicated to improving web access for all users. W3C provides a list of web accessibility tools and services as well as selection guidance.
Reduce the Complexity and Cost of Digital Accessibility
Make-Sense offers a digital accessibility platform that continuously monitors and provides real-time fixes to keep websites compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the universally accepted standards for making the web more accessible. Make-Sense’s platform meets security and privacy requirements. For more information, visit www.mk-sense.com.