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How much does ADA WCAG website accessibility compliance manual audit cost and what factors impact the cost?

By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
8 mins
Manual website accessibility audit cost

The value and need of web accessibility are not hidden now. Organizations must have accessible online content and to improve digital accessibility of their websites or applications, they are required to focus on regular accessibility audits and remediation.

Growing numbers of state lawsuits show that users with disabilities are trying to use online content but their inaccessibility prohibits such users from accessing the desired content. Thus, prioritizing accessibility and improving its status is a need of the hour for every sized organization.

Process of manual accessibility audit!

There is a standard way to perform manual accessibility audit, many agencies/teams prefer to follow:

  • Comprehensive audit

    An audit is performed by expert auditors to review each page of the website. They test every element placed on the pages against WCAG standards. The experts also check assistive technologies' compatibility with the website.

  • Detailed report of gaps

    Then, the auditors provide detailed reports on issues and their remediation suggestions. The report can be considered as technical guidance on accessibility issues and fixing them. Here’s a sample of manual accessibility audit report.

  • Collaborative remediation

    ADA compliance needs collaborative endeavors. Thus, organizations should take help from accessibility partners to perform remediation and fix accessibility issues of the website/application.

  • Continuous Monitoring

    Accessibility is an ongoing process. Regularly monitor the digital asset for accessibility compliance and address any issues that arise over time. Use our All in One Accessibility Monitor to schedule scans.

Factors affecting the website manual accessibility audit cost!

Manual accessibility audit includes several factors that impact its cost; the cost generally ranges from $2,500 to $25,000 and beyond. The manual audit is comprehensive, and it covers all those components and issues that cannot be identified through automated testing tools.

  • Size of the website

    Larger websites with hundreds or thousands of pages will cost more to audit than smaller sites with fewer pages. Websites with complex structures, such as ecommerce sites with numerous product pages, blogs, multimedia content, and interactive elements, demand more detailed analysis.

  • Types of website

    Static websites with simple HTML content are easier and faster to audit compared to dynamic websites that rely on JavaScript, AJAX, or other dynamic content delivery methods.

    Websites with forms, interactive widgets, and other user input features require more extensive testing.

  • Industry standards and requirements

    Certain industries, such as finance, healthcare, and education, may have some additional compliance requirements that increase the complexity and cost of the audit.

  • Audit scope and deliverables

    The cost can also depend on the depth of the detailed report, including comprehensive documentation of issues, impact assessments, code snippets for remediation, and prioritized action plans that increase audit costs.

  • Expertise and reputation of the auditing agency/company

    Larger consultancy firms with established reputations and specialized teams may charge more than individual consultants. Moreover, agencies with specific certifications in accessibility (like IAAP certification) or extensive experience in ADA and WCAG compliance can charge higher fees.

  • Urgency of the audit

    If a business requires an expedited audit due to impending legal deadlines or product launches, it may face higher costs. Rush services typically incur additional fees.

  • Screen readers accessibility audit

    Manual accessibility audits include screen readers, other assistive technologies, and keyboards audit as well. The auditing team tests the website’s compatibility with screen readers and keyboards to make sure that its content is readable and navigable.

Importance of manual accessibility audit!

  • It is the moral responsibility of organizations to comply with DEI goals (diversity, equity, inclusion) and accessibility audit helps achieve this goal.
  • Improves website user experience by identifying and eliminating accessibility issues.
  • Manual accessibility audit reviews each element on the web page and optimizes them, which enhances the website’s SEO as well.
  • Assists in improving brand reputation and market reach by catering to a broader audience of disability spectrum.

Additional points on manual accessibility audit to achieve ADA/WCAG compliance!

  • Often, AI and automated software testing do not work!

    Whether it is AI or automated testing tools, they cannot detect all accessibility issues. Thus, it is crucial to conduct manual accessibility testing to evade the risk of inaccessibility. Moreover, the WCAG standards are comprehensive, and they need experts to test the website against these updated standards.

  • Choose remediation/redesign on time!

    A manual accessibility audit also reviews the age of a website. If the website is older than four years, it might need a complete renovation. In such situations, it is suggested to redesign the website from scratch adhering to ADA compliance. And if the website is continuously updated with time, then a regular manual accessibility audit might work depending on the complexity of the content.

Who requires manual accessibility audit?

Certain types of companies including Government agencies, educational institutions, healthcare providers, banks, technology companies, and public service organizations are more likely to require website accessibility manual audit due to regulatory requirements, and the diversity of their user base!

Any company who requires their website to be compliant with accessibility standards, the first step is to get manual accessibility audit to be done in the compliance journey, Usually, the companies who are getting any lawsuit or complain, they require to do the audit.

Ignoring manual accessibility audit can cost a hefty price!

Inaccessible websites can receive a demand letter or encounter a lawsuit anytime. Navigating an ADA lawsuit for a non-compliant website is not only financially draining but is a reputation-damaging experience. While the exact cost of lawsuits can vary, here are some of the most common expenses a business may face:

  • Plaintiffs' legal fees depend on the complexity of the lawsuits.
  • Settlement costs; if a business wants to save its reputation damage, it can seek for out of court settlement.
  • Operational disruptions due to litigation formalities.

And these are all known expenses, there might be hidden costs to settle litigation problems.

Selecting the right accessibility audit partner is a real task!

The current dynamic digital market is full of various companies that offer accessibility and audit services. Thus, it becomes difficult to choose an apt partner to identify accessibility barriers and fix them.

The experience and expertise of companies/agencies offering accessibility audit services are primary requirements to look for.

Check if they have knowledgeable teams about WCAG/ADA updated standards and delivering high-quality results to their clients. IAAP credentials and other international tie-ups are additional advantages.

Moreover, consider checking if the services they are offering include relevant remediation suggestions and further support or not. A reliable company has several useful things to offer, and they believe in transparency. They keep website owners and other stakeholders in the loop throughout their audit work.

So, choose the right partner to evade a list of potential problems.

In a nutshell,

The cost of a website ADA / WCAG compliance manual accessibility audit is influenced by a variety of factors, including the size and complexity of the website and other above-mentioned factors. Despite the costs, the benefits of ensuring that a website is accessible to all users and compliant with legal standards make this investment worthwhile for most businesses.

“Accessibility drives traffic and growth in technology. That’s a proven trend in technology.”

- Sean Plott

Thus, to achieve accessibility goals and grow a business, invest in manual accessibility audit!

Make sure your digital content is inclusive and accessible for all users by investing in manual accessibility expert audit services . Checkout our manual accessibility audit packages start from $2500. Our team of accessibility manual audit experts brings unparalleled expertise to identify and resolve accessibility barriers, ensuring compliance with Section 508, ADA, or WCAG 2.0, 2.1, 2.2 standards and enhancing user experience for individuals with disabilities. Request a quote or reach out [email protected].