Is an Accessibility Statement an essential component of your website?
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Website Accessibility Statement

Organizations are now more aware of digital accessibility and focusing like never before on their digital assets’ accessibility. Along with accessibility implementation, it is crucial to showcase their effort behind accessibility incorporation and conformance level of the website/application. So, they display their commitment to accessibility on their digital products via a written format which is known as an Accessibility Statement.

The accessibility statement is a separate segment on the website with its terms and conditions along with complete accessibility information. Read along to learn more about accessibility statement.

Accessibility Statement – What is it?

So, as mentioned above, a public declaration by an organization posted on its website or other digital products that outlines the information on its accessibility policies, goals, and achievements is nothing but accessibility statement. It is a simple way to let people know that a website or application is accessible.

One of the primary reasons for having an accessibility statement is to comply with legal requirements. Many countries have enacted laws and regulations mandating web accessibility, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States, EN 301549 in European Union, Australian DDA, Canada ACA, and many more. Failure to comply with these laws can result in legal actions, fines, and damage to the organization’s reputation.

Beyond legal obligations, there is a strong ethical argument for ensuring accessibility. The Internet is a fundamental resource in many aspects of life, including education, employment, government services, commerce, and more. Ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their abilities, can access and use websites equitably reflects a society that values inclusion and diversity. And accessibility statement helps knowing them that the website/application is accessible.

Benefits of accessibility statement

  • Transparency and trust

    An accessibility statement fosters transparency, showing users that the organization prioritizes inclusive experience for all its users. It builds trust among users and indicates the corporate social responsibility of organizations.

  • Improved user experience

    By highlighting the accessibility features of a website, an accessibility statement enhances the user experience for people with disabilities. It provides clear information on how to navigate the site, access content, and seek help if needed.

  • A showcase of continuous improvement

    An accessibility statement informs the ongoing efforts of organization to maintain and improve accessibility. This determination of continuous improvement is crucial, as web technologies and accessibility standards evolve over time.

  • Legal safeguard

    Having an accessibility statement serves as a legal safeguard by documenting the efforts taken to comply with accessibility laws and standards. It demonstrates a proactive approach to accessibility, which is beneficial for organizations in the event of legal scrutiny.

Components of an effective accessibility statement

To be effective, an accessibility statement should be clear, comprehensive, and easily accessible. Important components of accessibility statement are:

  • Standards and guidelines

    Information about the accessibility standards the website follows, such as WCAG 2.1 or Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is mandatory in statement.

  • Accessibility features

    A description of the specific accessibility features implemented on the website, such as keyboard navigation, screen reader compatibility, text resizing options, etc.

  • Contact information

    Clear instructions on how users can contact the website owner or the helpdesk to report accessibility issues or request assistance. This should include multiple contact methods, such as email, phone, and an online form.

  • Feedback mechanism

    An invitation for users to provide feedback on the accessibility of the site, along with a commitment to address any issues raised.

  • Ongoing efforts

    Information about the website’s ongoing efforts to monitor, review, and improve accessibility.

The right way to write an accessibility statement

An organization can create an automatic accessibility statement using a statement generator. The tool asks for some specific information to create the statement and the automated statement can be customized as well. However, creating it manually is a good choice to have an accurate accessibility statement.

What to keep in mind while writing an accessibility statement?

  • Avoid using difficult sentences with jargon and technical terms. The simpler the language, the easier it will be to understand.
  • Give correct information about the website’s accessibility status. If there are issues, don’t hide them.
  • Include all the necessary information like how users will get a personalized experience, is there any specific setting required for assistive technology, etc.
  • The accessibility statement ought to be updated regularly along with the content updates and the statement should contain the date of updates.

Don’t forget to include all the components mentioned in above section.

Automated tools to write an accessibility statement!

  • W3C’s tool

    W3C offers its in-house tool to create an accessibility statement if an organization needs help to create the statement quickly.

  • Government resources

    There are Government websites such as the U.S. Government’s that offer resources and templates to write an accessibility statement.

  • All in One Accessibility

    It is an accessibility widget made by us. All in One Accessibility offers quick accessibility solutions that can be customized. Along with several accessibility features, the widget also has its accessibility statement generator. An organization can generate its accessibility statement for free using this tool.

The accessibility statement is as important as other elements of the website!

An accessibility statement is a vital element of a modern, inclusive website. As the digital world continues to evolve, ensuring that users can access and benefit from online resources is essential. An accessibility statement is a clear and effective way to communicate this commitment and foster an inclusive digital environment for everyone.

All in One Accessibility features custom accessibility link that allows organizations to create tailored statements that reflect their commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. An accessibility statement ensures that each business can communicate its unique efforts and compliance measures effectively.

Skynet Technologies is providing managed website accessibility remediation services and quick accessibility remediation to maintain the highest accessibility standards and continuously improving the user experience. Reach out [email protected].