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ADA Compliant Website

The Essential Mobile App ADA Compliance Checklist for App Accessibility!
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Jun 12, 21
Jul 17, 2021
Mobile App ADA Compliance

What defines the success of a mobile application? Is it the aesthetics or navigability? Well, yeah, both of these factors largely contribute towards building a mind-boggling app. But the more vital aspect in determining app success is its massive audience outreach. Let's face it that a highly accessible mobile app registers higher user engagements than an inaccessible one.

So, you should develop your mobile apps while keeping unbiased accessibility in the foreground. But, you might miss out on a specific user segment irrespective of your dedicated efforts to increase app accessibility - the differently-abled group. Are you wondering how to make your app accessible to disabled users? Worry no more. We've got your back!

Here is a quick mobile app ADA compliance checklist that you can follow to increase your mobile app’s accessibility among users with disabilities. But before going anywhere, let's look at why you should adhere to ADA compliance checklists for your apps. Let's dive in!

Why is it Important to Adhere With ADA Compliance?

You already know about the game-changing effect of accessibility in your app and corresponding users. And when it comes to accessibility, who can forget the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines! But is ADA compliance worth considering? Hell yeah! Let's concrete your belief with the importance of following ADA compliance for your mobile app.

  1. Hook a Massive User Base

    Did you know that nearly 1 billion people in the world have some form of disability? Yes, that's a whopping figure! When 54% of disabled adults (that is a half billion people approximately) tend to come online, you wouldn’t want to miss out on them for your app, would you?

  2. Consider Less Obvious Parameters

    As long as you don't rely on assistive technologies in your daily life, granular accessibility concerns don't surface before you. The well-curated ADA compliance mobile app highlights less obvious app-accessibility parameters, providing you with an invaluable opportunity to refine your product before launching.

  3. Comply with Equality Guidelines

    Most countries have strict guidelines against categorical prejudices for mobile applications. If your app remains inaccessible to a specific group, it might backfire dramatically! Ensuring that your app complies with standard ADA guidelines mitigates legal risks and keeps you on the safer side.

The Must-Know Mobile App ADA Compliance Checklist for App Accessibility

Believe it or not but mobile app ADA Accessibility guidelines are a must for all developers out there. So, without delaying further, let’s peep into what’s available in the most sought-after accessibility compliance from ADA.

  1. Ensure Text Legibility and Readable Size

    Is your content size readable by partial visually impaired audiences? Since as high as 53.2 million Americans have a slight visual impairment, this question should be your priority when adjusting the text size in your mobile app.

    Sometimes, they might require a magnifying glass to use your app and, still, cannot comprehend the over-decorative texts. Consequently, your app will rank lower on the accessibility scale! So, keep text sizes flexible and manually operable or leverage Dynamic Fonts in your product for the highest accessibility.

  2. Avoid Flashing Animations in Your App

    Do you know that 3% of epileptic patients suffer seizures when exposed to sudden strobe effects? Apart from epilepsy, many medical conditions and disabilities show adverse effects triggered by flashing animations.

    So, a strobe-free mobile app ranks highest on the ADA accessibility scale. You can either remove flashing animations from your app or provide users with an option to disable them if required.

  3. Sufficient Contrast and Balanced Complementary Colors

    Have you ever noticed the vibrating effect of bluish-green texts on orange backgrounds? It's uncomfortable, right? The discomfort increases when a person with a visual disability operates your app with a complementing color scheme. As an aesthetics designer, you should use the complementary scheme judiciously in your app to mitigate side effects for visually impaired users.

    Also, sometimes you might leverage graphical entities lacking sufficient contrast in your mobile app. For instance, pink texts on a peachy background might become incomprehensible for visually disabled users. The ADA compliance recommends using enough color contrast in your app to allow easy accessibility for everyone.

  4. Allow Hassle-Free Data Entry Options

    Let's admit that some apps run on datasets fed by the users. However, text input might intimidate some differently-abled groups. So, focus on alternative data entry options to design a highly accessible app for your users.

    But, apart from texts, what else can you use for data entry in your mobile app? Well, many data input options are available that remain compatible with all users with or without impairment, viz, radio buttons, checkbox, and auto-filling options.

  5. Make Your App Compatible with Screen Readers

    We cannot deny that screen readers are life-saving for a massive audience base. Surprisingly, 79.5% of masses with disabilities depend on audio readers to use a mobile application. So, you can estimate the importance of making your app compatible with third-party screen readers.

    Besides, you can integrate a prebuilt screen reader in your app, allowing disabled audiences to use your product effortlessly. Also, ensure that the reader option remains pretty at hand without investing much time searching for it within the layout.

  6. Double Check Simple App Gestures

    Some mobile apps entail complex gestures to bring out specific functionalities. Such gestures might become a headache to users with motor impairment. They might face difficulties in synchronizing their hand movements, leading to missing out on using your application entirely. So, complex touchscreen gestures are a no-no in the ADA compliance checklist. Focus on leveraging simple tapping gestures to ensure better app accessibility to everyone.

  7. Can Users Customize Your App Themselves?

    As long as a disabled user seeks external assistance to use your app, you haven't made it accessible enough, mate! All customization and options should lie in users' hands for single-handed utility and refined accessibility, in turn.

Missing out on the disabled community accessibility can be fatal to your mobile app. Apart from receiving lower engagements from the users, you might get sued by the regulatory authorities. So, comply with ADA app-accessibility guidelines for all your projects and witness better-than-ever outcomes. Our mobile app developers can create highly functional, robust, and user-friendly mobile apps for the iOS, Android, Flutter and React Native platforms. Our developers have a deeper understanding of all ADA compliance mobile app development requirements hence your mobile apps would be highly interactive and providing a great user experience.

2
Why does your website need to comply with ADA Section 508 Compliance?
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Apr 23, 21
Jul 17, 2021
ADA Section 508 Compliance

Many businesses were shaken up when they got to know about the legal litigations that were filed against their companies. These numbers kept on surging to an appalling level and why shouldn’t they when nearly 20% of the people in America are having disability of some kind or the other are being excluded from web accessibility. This raised an alarm among the business enterprises who realized the need for accessibility to save their companies from the intricate lawsuits and also presented an opportunity to reach a wider audience.

There are no enforceable legal standards at present in the USA. However, Americans with Disabilities (ADA) standards published by the Department of Justice have been striving to make the websites and other digital assets accessible to everyone including people with disabilities. In addition to ADA, the federal, state, and local government websites must comply with Section 508 regulations.

Let us understand what Section 508 is and why your website needs to comply with it.

What is ADA Section 508 Compliance?

Section 508 is an amendment to the US Workforce Rehabilitation Act, 1973. It is a federal law mandating the electronic and ICT sources used, developed, procured, or maintained by the federal governments to be accessible to all. It brings people with disabilities like blindness, deafness, motor disabilities, and others under its gambit. And it is applicable to websites, web-based applications, emails, PDFs, software programs, devices, etc.

Section 508 mandates websites to meet technical requirements like code, software, os, etc. that is compatible with the assistive technologies, functional requirements to make the entire website usable by people with disabilities, support requirements wherein the support documents to be accessed by people with disabilities. If your website doesn’t meet these requirements, then it is not compliant with accessibility standards.

It also incorporated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 level AA as its standard for website accessibility compliance. WCAG 2.0 and 2.2 guidelines like keyboard-only navigation, built-in screen reader capabilities, alt text for images, color contrast, and more are included under it.

You need to perform Section 508 compliance testing to verify if your website is meeting these standards. You can do this in two ways. One way is to evaluate your website through a web accessibility checker and the other way is to have a Section 508 compliance checklist provided in a voluntary product accessibility template (VPAT).

How is Section 508 different from ADA?

Both Section 508 and ADA focus on accessibility but they differ in the audience, scope, purpose, and penalties.

Audience - ADA pertains to a large audience when compared to Section 508 as ADA focuses on all kinds of business - both public and private, nonprofit to state governments. While Section 508 requires only federal departments and agencies funded by it.

Scope - ADA covers wider public places. But when it comes to digital space, the scope of ADA is limited when compared to Section 508. Section 508 only refers to ICT that entails websites, phones, software, and digitally published materials.

Purpose - Both are aimed at making the world a much better place in terms of accessibility. While ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, Section 508 covers equal access to electronic and IT associated with federal governments.

Penalties - Failing to comply with ADA rules comes with a heavy fine. Section 508 violations lead to formal complaints and lawsuits. It can also lead to the loss of federal funding.

Both these should work in tandem to make the world both physical and digital an equal and accessible space for people with disabilities.

Why does your website need to comply with Section 508?

All the businesses should make Section 508 a priority and make their website compliance a priority. Fulfilling the Section 508 requirements will result in avoiding costly legal litigations. Section 508 if adhered to, is not just meant to stay on the right side of the law but also has tangible benefits to the business. If you fail to comply with 508 compliance, the prospects of your business would be hurt severely.

With millions of disabled people who quite often struggle to find information on a daily basis, one needs to think of building businesses that provide solutions to these pertinent problems of the customers. Their needs shouldn’t be given a step-motherly treatment while building business websites. They shouldn’t be jumping over hurdles to get a task done while using a website.

Among the 20% of the Americans with disabilities, about half of them are having severe disabilities. If you do not pay heed to the accessibility needs of your audience, you are going to lower the page views thereby limiting your reach.

You can be better connected to your user base by covering a large proportion of people with disabilities. It also improves your brand reputation among your users as you taking a moral ground by making your digital assets accessible to all. If people feel like their needs are considered, the chances of them coming back to your website also increase.

You can also lift the morale of your employees by letting them be part of your vision of making a difference in society. You can build a work culture that is compassionate to the needs of these people with disabilities.

With ADA web accessibility consultant team, we build ADA compliant websites, make strategic designs, and conduct proper compliance audits to improve the accessibility of your website, reduce your legal exposure, and widen your reach on the web.

Above all, it is one of the ultimate customer-centric strategies. Customers want a website that is accessible and offers a frictionless experience to them that sets you apart from the cluttered websites. You are also making your customers know that their independence matters to you immensely. For this to happen, make sure you provide them what they’ve been looking for while browsing your website. This results in improved customer relationships and even pumps your energy to serve better in the future.

Another added bonus is to showcase your company as a law-abiding one and also fighting discrimination making the web an inclusive space for everyone.

Bottom line

Skynet Technologies has a professional and experienced website development team who can help you comply with Section 508 standards.

We deliver accessible and results-driven websites that are optimized for all individuals. We have specialized compliance services and experienced professionals to improve your website accessibility. We also offer accessibility compliance through consultation services wherein we focus on understanding your goals and requirements and try to get the accessibility right. We offer a full package of ADA compliant website design to help your business stay competitive & unleash new growth potential.

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Top 7 Facts About Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 2.2 You Must Know!
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Apr 12, 21
Jul 17, 2021
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG

The World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) is the supreme authority for laying out the accessibility goals through web design and build. These are to be universal and followed worldwide by all business enterprises. It has laid out Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that rule how to make your web content accessible to all including people with disabilities or different needs. Accessibility entails a wide range of disabilities that include visual, auditory, speech, cognitive, physical, and neurological disabilities. WCAG guidelines have been the cardinal principles for businesses to make them universally accessible.

The W3C has been updating the accessibility guidelines and finalized the most recent version i.e. WCAG (2.2)

Here are some of the quick facts about the latest WCAG2.2 version.

1. WCAG 2.2 is a working draft, not a final version

The expected date of the WCAG 2.2 accessibility publication is anticipated to be in June 2021 and the final date has been pushed from its earlier stipulated timelines. So it is still in its draft state. The first draft was likely to be released at the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference. If you have any feedback, you can submit it to the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group via GitHub or the W3C mailing list.

2. WCAG 2.2 is expected to become a recommendation around June 2021

Earlier it was supposed to be around November 2020. But pushed to June 2021. It is going to be an official recommendation soon. It would become a legal requirement after the publication.

3. WCAG 2.2 is rooted in WCAG 2.1

Just like how WCAG 2.1 guidelines were built on 2.0, in the same way, WCAG 2.2 is built on WCAG 2.1. These updates that extend WCAG 2.x series of guidelines are backward compatible and they keep up with the conformance model. This means the current criteria include the addition of the new guidelines to the already existing guidelines. Most enterprises aim for level A and AA conformance. Any changes that are rolled out will not impact them in a major way and hence most organizations can lay back and relax and they are likely to meet the conformance standards. So, if your organization meets WCAG 2.1 guidelines, chances are that you will not be impacted much by the new guidelines. This, however, is not applicable to the earlier version guidelines such as 2.0.

4. Likely to have 9 success criteria

The current draft shows 9 new success criteria.

  • 4 at Level A with Focus Visible Enhanced
  • 4 at Level AA
  • 1 at Level AAA

These criteria aim at assisting users having low vision, cognitive & learning disabilities, motor disabilities. This benefits the users who have disabilities on mobile devices.

Let us look into the current editor’s draft WCAG 2.2 criteria

Level A

  1. Accessible Authentication
  2. Findable Help
  3. Fixed Reference Points
  4. Redundant Entry

Level AA

  1. Dragging Movements
  2. Focus Appearance (Minimum)
  3. Visible Controls
  4. Pointer Target Spacing

Level AAA

  1. Focus Appearance (Enhanced)

Some criteria may be moved between levels. For instance, one current criterion may move from Level AA to Level A. Since most enterprises require to conform to Level A and AA, any change in this will have zero or negligible impact on business requirements.

Listed below are some success criteria:

  1. Focus Appearance (Minimum and Advanced) - This is for the benefit of sighted users who navigate the web pages with the keyboard have a clearly visible focus indicator for the page pointers. Here the focus indicators and minimum contrast are denied. For level AA it should be in the contrast ratio of 3.1 and for level AAA, it should be 4.5 to 1.
  2. Fixed Reference Points - This is for EPUB and other publication formats. Things like page numbers, page locators should be accessible and adjustable when the page is displayed.
  3. Dragging - Drag-and-drop actions should be precise and this is important for people with motor disabilities.
  4. Pointer Target Size - You need to activate small buttons on touch screens which is usually challenging for people with motor disabilities. Have a minimum distance between two interactive elements to help people avoid any unnecessary activation of wrong elements.
  5. Finding Help - This makes it easier for the users who need help finding information like contact information or FAQs, etc.
  6. Hidden Controls - Some elements like buttons are hidden to reduce the visual clutter on the webpage. Visitors may struggle to complete the task if there is any difficulty.
  7. Accessible Authentication - People tend to be forgetful of their authentication details. So there must be cognitive tests for remembering details.
  8. Redundant Entry - Some forms require inputs to be entered more than once. So one needs to avoid the mechanical entries and there should be less strain filling forms.

5. WCAG 2.3 unlikely to be there

As we go forward, there won’t be a WCAG 2.3. Efforts are being directed towards a future accessibility guideline i.e. WCAG 3.0, which will be a major succession version of the WCAG guidelines. They won’t be backward compatible. No official name is set yet but contemplation is that a first public working draft would be out anytime soon. The final version is anticipated to be published around November 2023.

6. Supporting Documents are in progress

There is a core working group that has been relentlessly working on building techniques that will suffice to go into the document. Any failure instances in the WCAG 2 series guidelines will lay special emphasis on creating techniques for the new criteria in WCAG 2.2. The additional supporting documents on how to meet WCAG 2.2 are in progress and these would be helpful for understanding WCAG 2.2.

7. WCAG 2.2 adoption into the existing regulations is still unknown

  • There is no information about the adoption of the details into Section 508 by the US Government
  • Not until the 2nd half of the year 2021, these WCAG 2.2 guidelines will be referenced by the accessibility advocates in the litigation and settlement agreements.
  • Some US states, higher educational institutions, enterprises, and organizations adopted WCAG 2.1 while others are still on 2.0. Some are likely to adopt these latest standards while a few others may hold back.
  • The W3C standards body that has created EU standard EN 301 549 will also foresee WCAG 2.2 criteria for the inclusion of it in the EU standard. Of course, this may take several months and there are no confirmed details as yet.
  • We do expect the Department of Justice (DoJ) to take a more proactive stance on digital web accessibility.

Any business enterprise or for that matter anyone who wants an inclusive webspace would consider their way of doing business and their digital sources to be ADA web compliant. If you strive to be one, you would want to track these updates as they are important in the design of the digital content. You are also free to contribute any feedback or comments to the W3C.

The existing draft of WCAG 2.2 standards are in the AMP platform and these are not finalized yet. They are still in the draft nature. Once these standards are locked down, AMP will be updated with the latest WCAG version. Before that happens, it is required to actively consider each criterion, evaluate it automatically and manually, and all address a testing approach in the platform for every new criterion.

Skynet Technologies is offering ADA compliant website design and development services followed by Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards. We can make your Drupal, WordPress, Magento, PHP, Laravel website or Android, iOS Mobile App ADA Compliant to make it accessible for everyone.

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Top 4 Web Accessibility Solutions for an optimized experience of Ecommerce Brands!
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Apr 02, 21
Jul 17, 2021
Web Accessibility Solutions

Have you ever come across a well-built website but surprisingly hard to navigate? Imagine a person with some sort of disability visiting your ecommerce website but due to its poor accessibility, they have no option other than dropping off your site and may even go to your competitor. What if I say, there are nearly 50 million people in the USA alone and 1 billion all over the world people with one or the other disability? Can your ecommerce website afford to lose this astonishing number of consumers?

Unfortunately, that’s what happens if you do not make web accessibility an essential tenet of your ecommerce web development process. Most companies play a second fiddle to web accessibility when they are designing their ecommerce website. This continued till that point when many ecommerce giants had to face sudden legal litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) published by the Department of Justice, USA.

Web accessibility is critical to ensure an optimized experience for your customers regardless of their physical or cognitive capabilities. Web accessibility is pretty much similar to how you make your brick-and-mortar stores accessible to people with disabilities. You need to focus on making certain improvements and add features to make your ecommerce website accessible and easily navigable by everyone. Of late, web accessibility has become increasingly crucial for providing an enhanced user experience and avoid accessibility-related lawsuits.

Importance of Website Accessibility Solutions

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was developed in the year 1990 by the Department of Justice (DoJ) which requires businesses to make accommodations for people with disabilities.

Let us share with you one important incident that happened in the year 2012. No, definitely not the frenzy created around Mayan’s doomsday! The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) accused Netflix, the popular video streaming service of being inaccessible to people with hearing impairments. It was lacking a closed captioning option that would have helped deaf people.

Although ADA didn’t specifically mention digital resources, it was then proclaimed that due to the unprecedented internet penetration all over the world, even digital sources like websites have to be accessible to all including people with disabilities. Netflix was ordered to immediately provide captions to all of its streamed content and also pay a hefty penalty.

Similar incidents did happen with other companies for different accessibility reasons. But the judgment was the same! Enterprises were ordered to make their digital assets accessible to everyone. So, it is essential for you to understand how you can make your website accessible and compliant with the accessibility guidelines to avoid expensive lawsuits as well as build websites that are appealing to all customers.

  1. Incorporate the four WCAG Accessibility Principles

    Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are to be considered while you plan out on building an accessible website. For this, your website must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

    Perceivable - Make your content available to everyone so that they can access and navigate with ease. For instance, include a descriptive alt-text tag for images which helps the screen readers interpret and communicate to the visually challenged users. Add captions to the streamed or recorded videos to help the hearing-impaired users. You can rely on tools that make this process automated or go for a skilled person who would get it done for you with utmost precision.

    Operable - An operable ecommerce website is easy to navigate. For instance, if a user finds it difficult to use a mouse and usually relies on keyboard shortcuts should find your ecommerce site to be maneuvered using the keyboard. If your website has graphic content or animations, then it has to give some time to the people to comprehend your content and have a simulating experience on your ecommerce site.

    Understandable - How about the readability aspects of your content? For example, the structure and content of your website should be consistent and predictable all across the website. It should also explain any jargon used or abbreviations included on the site to let the customers understand the intent. There are many plugins like Yoast that analyze your website to help you make your content understandable.

    Robust - Keep your website updated and stay current on all modern website design trends and integrate them with the latest assistive technologies. This is the technical aspect of accessibility so you can hire a web developer to check if you are staying current on the trends and technologies. You can also get a second opinion from friends having disability issues to uncover any neglected issues.

  2. Allow Multi-device Experience

    To improve the accessibility of your ecommerce website, you need to make it accessible on a variety of web browsers and devices. Essentially, if a visitor opens your ecommerce website on any device be it a desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, or they are accessing your website using assistive technology like a screen reader, there shouldn’t be any hassles. This, in turn, boosts your customer satisfaction thereby having an impact on customer retention as well.

  3. Create an accessibility guide

    Your ecommerce website can provide a web accessibility guide to the users which comes in handy for those users who are using assistive technologies for navigating through your website. This accessibility guide serves as a roadmap for them with information on how to navigate and make purchases using assistive technology. It also contains any alternative solutions if the website is not up to the full accessibility standards. Other data includes information about the ecommerce store contact details so they can approach the customer service if they encounter any challenges.

  4. Conduct User Research

    While there have been plenty of guidelines about creating an accessible ecommerce website, you need to have a real-time experience by understanding the customers’ pain points. You cannot get that out of thin air unless you step into the field to find out the challenges the shoppers are facing while interacting with your ecommerce site. Is there are a difficulty for the people relying on screen readers to navigate through the website? Do people with color blindness can differentiate the CTAs from the background? You can prepare a questionnaire to ask for real shoppers and learn about the challenges they face from having an optimized experience on your online store. Learn about their preferences, capabilities, and more to avoid alienation of them.

Bottomline

Enhance the user experience by including accessibility features such as search by voice, video transcripts, accurate alt tag descriptions, keyboard-based navigation, increase content readability, and many others. All these factors streamline the user flow for all not just disabled users. Building a user experience-focused digital store definitely takes your website experience to a different level for everyone.

Remember, your website is the face of your online business and you don’t want to lose out on your potential customers over accessibility issues which if included has a plethora of other benefits that is beneficial even for non-disabled users. So, what’s stopping you? Check out more information about our ADA web accessibility services.

Skynet Technologies build ADA compliant websites, make strategic designs, and conduct proper compliance audits to improve the accessibility of your website, reduce your legal exposure, and widen your reach on the web. We also offer accessibility compliance through consultation services wherein we focus on understanding your goals and requirements and try to get the accessibility right.

Request a Quote for ADA Web Accessibility Consultation!

5
ADA Web Accessibility Solution for Custom BigCommerce Apps!
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Mar 27, 21
Jul 24, 2021
Custom BigCommerce Apps

One of the most dynamic realms on the web is the ecommerce business. With the rapid evolution of technological trends and rising customer expectations, most businesses are striving to make their mark in the ecommerce space by taking every opportunity to build and grow their business. The primary motive of all these businesses who are grappling to race to the top in their niche area is to provide the best and most memorable user experience.

The ecommerce businesses are leaving no stone unturned in providing a customer experience like never before. Be it the promotional offer or loyalty discounts, live product customizations to an exclusive sneak peek of the products, these online merchants are going the extra mile to keep the customer satisfaction level high at all times.

However, there is a certain section of customers who feel deprived of this experience and face access issues to the products of their choice. As per a survey, in the USA alone, there are nearly 56 million people with disabilities compromising around 25% of the American population. Out of which nearly 10% are having visual impairment challenges. So, an online store despite being banking on the visual experience, a section of these customers fails to access and make a purchase. Hence, came the need to build an accessible ecommerce store.

What is ADA compliance?

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 by the Department of Justice. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. These standards are also applicable to all electronic and IT including software. All the businesses have to make sure that their products and services are accessible to all consumers including people with disabilities. Even their online resources like web applications, mobile applications, webpages, etc. should be accommodating everyone without discrimination.

How do I know if my BigCommerce app is accessible?

If you want to make your BigCommerce app accessible, you need to adhere to the web content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) laid down by W3C, a dedicated international organization meant for web development standards. All websites should follow these guidelines to improve their web accessibility.

WCAG has introduced 4 web content and design principles to improve accessibility.

  1. Perceivable - The visually impaired should be able to perceive the non-text content on the web. For instance, videos, images should have transcripts and alt text to help blind users.
  2. Operable - Your website should be easily usable by everyone. The user should be able to navigate from one page to the other through the keyboard without the need for a mouse.
  3. Understandable - Easy rendering and predictability aspects. There shouldn’t be sudden or unexpected content changes on your website.
  4. Robust - The content should be robust enough with valid code markup so that it can be easily parsed by any machine especially assistive technologies.

If you are building a custom BigCommerce App and want to make it accessible, these WCAG rules help you go a long way in your journey.

Need for ADA Web Accessibility for Your BigCommerce Apps

BigCommerce is one of the robust and scalable ecommerce platforms available powering up many online stores. It offers lucrative features and builds lightweight ecommerce stores. But, merely using BigCommerce doesn’t ensure ADA compliance. Suppose, you have built a visually compelling ecommerce store using BigCommerce. However, the color palette is challenging for someone with a visual disability. The fonts might be smaller, color contrast was not properly maintained, difficult to find CTAs, no proper hierarchy for the headings, and more. These jeopardize the overall experience of the customers.

So, essentially, even a good user interface may result in delivering a poor user experience. Hence, one needs to make their BigCommerce apps ADA compliant to keep the website layout accessible to people with disabilities. You can customize the app as per the users’ disabilities and improve the accessibility aspects. Primary changes would be the font style, font size, theme color, simple layout, highlighting hyperlinks, and maintaining the heading structure.

The primary reason, thus, is to provide the best top-of-the-funnel customer experience. Also, you are striving to build inclusive web space by not alienating a section of potential customers. In addition to building good business, you can also avoid any legal lawsuits an inaccessible BigCommerce store may attract.

How do you ensure ADA web accessibility for custom BigCommerce App?

BigCommerce apps can be made ADA compliant either on their own or with third-party support.

  1. Alt tags - BigCommerce has an in-built catalog tool that lets you add ‘alt text’ for the visual content like product images, web images, videos, etc. You can rely on the built-in WYSIWYG editor for the non-text content.
  2. Customizable - BigCommerce also lets you add the scripts or code to your theme’s code to improve accessibility.
  3. Accessible Content - The content can be made accessible by having a proper heading hierarchy with distinguished font size, style, and color. Focus on the content scaling, highlight the links, use text magnification, adjust font sizing, maintain line and letter spacing, choose readable fonts, and proper alignment. There are tools like content scaling, text magnifier, for improving web accessibility.
  4. Color Adjustments - BigCommerce app comes with a separate color palette section to let the users make customizations to the layouts. One can focus on the contrast, saturation, and monochrome for better visibility.
  5. Orientation Adjustments - The users can personalize the orientations for accessibility purposes. You can opt for a virtual keyboard, a reading guide, hide distracting images and animations, highlighting hovers, and more.

There are several tools available in the market to help you identify any potential accessibility issues and find the design elements that are lowering the usability of your custom BigCommerce app.

With a team of creative web designers, we have a great understanding of the theme layouts, design elements, to use them dynamically and comply with the ADA rules.

Benefits of Web Accessibility solutions for Custom BigCommerce Apps

With the powerful BigCommerce capabilities, you can enhance your customer experience for people with disabilities and deliver engaging experiences devoid of accessibility barriers. Make your BigCommerce apps inclusive and help engage equally. You are empowering people with disabilities and providing them an opportunity to engage better with your brand. You can as well mitigate the legal risks. It is imperative to build profitable businesses.

Bottomline

Building accessible BigCommerce apps require an in-depth understanding of the platform as well as design aspects. Our BigCommerce development team is willing to take up the accessibility aspects of your custom apps by adhering to ADA and WCAG guidelines. We help you mitigate legal litigations, enhance your overall user experience for people with disabilities, and streamline your web accessibility efforts.

Skynet Technologies offer ADA Compliant Website Design, Accessibility Web Development, ADA Compliance Audit, ADA Compliance Mobile App, and other ADA Compliance Services. We can develop any BigCommerce website, ecommerce website or BigCommerce store or custom app an ADA Compliant. If you need to conduct a BigCommerce ADA compliance audit, we are here to help you.

EXPLORE BIGCOMMERCE DEVELOPMENT SERVICES!

6
A Comprehensive Guide on Magento Accessibility & Magento ADA Compliance!
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Feb 17, 21
Jul 17, 2021
Magento Accessibility

Ecommerce retailers are one of the most targeted websites facing ADA legal actions. The number of demand letters and lawsuits on the online merchants hasn’t been subsiding at all. Also, the need to make the web space accessible to people with disabilities is as great as ever. So, you need to be proactive to avoid the legal hassles and costs and also focus on building an inclusive web world.

Purpose of ADA for Magento accessibility

The American Disabilities Act of 1990 lays down the rules to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy and use places of public accommodation equally. The tipping point was when these rules became applicable to websites and mobile apps. Although clear technical guidelines are not laid down, in practice, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) by W3C serve as the de facto standards for digital accessibility. The latest version of the WCAG is 2.1 and comes in three levels - A, AA, AAA. To conform to the ADA rules, your website must meet the WCAG A, AA levels.

We have already mentioned that any website including your Magento ecommerce website, is accessible and ADA compliant if it complies with WCAG guidelines. If there are any violations, you need to remediate and fix them to comply with the ADA.

1. Conduct Magento Website Audit

You need to conduct a comprehensive audit that combines the results of manual, automated, and assistive technology audits. Relying only on the automated audit may not provide you the right picture. To get everything right, you need to focus on the manual as well as assistive technology auditing as well. These will help you focus on all the pages and templates to capture the issues that went uncaught in the automated audit. Professional ADA consultants also provide remediation guidelines for the violated items. They provide quality reporting that greatly reduces the number of false positives and also well-written remedial measures that reduce both cost and time.

2. Remedial Measures

You need to segment your audit results based on the category, severity, or priority. The ussies usually fall under three categories - development, design, and content. Design issues are related to the page structure, color, size, space, and other front-end elements. Content issues are related to image labels, headings structure, and captioning video content. Content remediation is not technical but still is tedious. Development issues include a great deal of HTML, CSS, JavaScript elements. Find the remedial measures for all these and make modifications to make the Magento website ADA compliant. A good team of ADA consultant team would address most of the issues on their own. You can contact experts of both WCAG compliance and Magento.

Magento Solutions

Good news! Magento provides solutions to these accessibility concerns without compromising on the user experience on your website. It comes with many in-built templates, shared modules, global libraries that can resolve most of the issues found in the web pages. You can create a personalized customer journey on your Magento website and also emphasize providing equitable experiences that can be beneficial for all.

Some of the options include aspects that go beyond the screen readers and assistive technologies. Full ADA compliance of your Magento store may require the help of Magento and ADA consultants. Some of the Magento solutions are -

  1. Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) - This is a protocol designed by W3C that employs landmarks to assist browsers in determining where the relevant content goes to properly communicate the right information. It simplifies interactivity by conveying the descriptions of the menu content. Magento is fully equipped with ARIA capabilities. Take the help of the Magento development team if you require assistance integrating it.
  2. Main Navigation - Magento stores come with numerous options and sub-options that rely on dropdown menus and mouse hovers. A sitemap link will be located in the website footer. Magento also comes with a theme that does support dropdown keyboard navigation.
  3. Skip to Content - This is essential for those who use the keyboard to maneuver through the Magento website. It simplifies navigation and provides faster access to the main content, product lists, and product categories. Magento also comes with the theme that comes with the skip to content link.

    These interactions along with adjustments to color contrasts, font sizes, image replacements with text instructions are meant to improve the overall usability of the Magento website and optimize the conversion funnel.

Benefits of Magento ADA Compliance

Making your Magento website accessible has huge economic benefits and also protects your business from potential legal litigations.

  1. Increased Traffic and Conversions - With the help of accessibility widgets and tools, alt text for images, audio, and text descriptions, color contrast adjustments make your site content effective and efficient. This boosts your web traffic and conversions by improving the reach to customers.
  2. Boosts Brand Reputation - By making your Magento websites ADA compliant, your brand reputation will improve and helps you remain competitive in the marketplace. With the ease of navigation and intuitive design, your potential customers find it easy to traverse from one page to another and boost conversion rates.
  3. SEO Optimized - ADA compliant websites are SEO compliant as well. They often rank higher on the search results. This improves your website visibility and improves your customer engagement.

Conclusion

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) and its rules have become extremely crucial in the ecommerce business as organizations also geared up to incorporate the ADA compliance rules in their website development. They are very well aware of the consequences of non-compliance and the benefits of compliance. If you are looking for ADA website accessibility consultants to make your Magento websites ADA compliant, then look nowhere.

Skynet Technologies has a dedicated team of developers who have been strictly adhering to the WCAG and ADA rules. Make your Magento website accessible to everyone including people with varied disabilities through our Magento ADA compliance services. We also offer ADA Compliant Website Design, Accessibility Web Development, ADA Compliance Audit, ADA Compliance Mobile App, and other ADA Compliance Services. We can develop any Magento website, ecommerce website or Magento store or Mobile application an ADA Compliant.

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Which type of accessibility standards apply for ADA compliance mobile app?
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Nov 22, 20
Sep 29, 2021
ADA compliance mobile app

Have ever wondered how many new apps are being born every month? How many app downloads are happening all over the world? We have some breathtaking numbers with us! Nearly 100k new Android apps and 30k iOS apps are being released every month and staggeringly more than 200 billion app downloads have happened in just one year! Mobile has become the highest traffic generator today. With this, many digital companies have started to roll-out their apps to improve their digital visibility. These mobile apps need to be user-friendly and accessible by everyone.

As mobile apps are continuously evolving, just like how web accessibility guidelines have been established by various international guidelines, there has been a need for the slow evolution of standards to address mobile app accessibility. To inculcate the principles of inclusion and fairness on the web, mobile accessibility must also be prioritized. People with disabilities and impairments must be able to utilize the benefits of these digital apps and services. It has to be a standard, not an exception. So logically, after ADA web accessibility, the next logical frontier in the pursuit of a more inclusive digital world is mobile.

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WCAG and ADA Guide

A Practical Resource Guide for Achieving Digital Accessibility Compliance

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provides technical specifications to improve the accessibility of web content, websites, and web applications on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile devices for people with a wide range of disabilities — including auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech and visual disabilities.

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ADA Compliance for Mobile Apps

As mobile apps became an indispensable part of our everyday lives, US Federal Courts have interpreted the accessibility clause in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as requiring all the mobile apps to be accessible to the disabled without any discrimination. This is imperative considering that nearly more than 50 million people in the US are disabled and depend on apps every day. And despite the stellar stats about mobile apps, not all hadn’t been created in compliance with the accessibility guidelines.

Mobile apps are also covered by the same accessibility standards as that of the web. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which provided guidelines for web accessibility, the same rules are valid for the mobile apps. They have to follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 standards including multimedia access. Though WCAG doesn’t specify anything about mobile app accessibility, however, the same criteria outlined in WCAG 2 stands relevant in the case of mobile apps as well. The W3C also mentioned the best practices for mobile apps, they are not accessibility specific although they do promote accessibility.

How can you make your mobile apps ADA compliant?

If your mobile apps are not ADA compliant, you could find yourself liable to legal penalties under ADA. Hence, one needs to refocus their ADA compliant Web Design efforts in order to make mobile apps easily navigable. You need to restructure your mobile app by following the accessibility standards namely ADA and WCAG 2.1 guidelines. Before we go further, first conduct a mobile ADA accessibility audit to note down any shortcomings and check where you stand in your accessibility score. There are many accessibility requirements for mobile apps, however, when it comes to ADA compliance, we are presenting here a few elements:

Provide a transcript with multimedia

Many mobile apps come with either audio or video files and how do you think a disabled user will be able to view or hear the multimedia content. Users with visual challenges and hearing disabilities should have a way out of this impediment. They should have an option to use captioning on your video, and a full-text transcript for audio files in order to make your mobile app ADA compliant. When applying captioning, make sure synchronization is happening to avoid unnecessary confusion especially when your app requires quick actions based on the audio commands.

Colors Compliance

Color blindness is one of the most common problems faced by internet users. Nearly 8% of the people face this and this becomes a hindrance while accessing your mobile app. It gets difficult for people to perceive the colors on their apps especially when these colors are in close proximity. For instance, most people suffer from red-green color blindness and if your app uses these two colors, then you need to provide an alternative way to make that accessible to these users. In the majority of the cases, if you could specify what color it is, that itself serves the purpose.

Easy to understand Error Messages

While you are filling out the forms or submitting a form, errors are likely to happen. The error messages are critical here to help the user to understand what went wrong. People with disabilities may find it hard to perceive any onscreen error prompts. So, it is better to make sure you encode your error messages properly so that they would be understood by the screen readers and other assistive technologies to help the users. Also, you need to avoid the common practice of using red color while indicating the error messages as color blind people may have a hard time perceiving the error message. A clear error message can reduce confusion and you can avoid the risk of losing customers.

Other Accessibility technologies

You can take advantage of the accessibility features such as text-to-speech, gesture technologies, haptic feedback offered by iOS and Android platforms. Visual impaired users make us of Talkback in Android and Voiceover in iOS. You can try these and see how your app performs in terms of accessibility. Your developers should be familiar with these technologies and make sure to include them in your strategic plan in order to make your app accessible to all.

You can add these to the web accessibility checklist and make sure you improve your mobile accessibility. You should let your developers know these and find remediation to make your mobile app widely accessible and avoid expensive lawsuits. It might be challenging even for the developers as the regulations are slightly confusing for mobile apps. We recommend an ADA compliance audit to identify the issues, rank them in order of severity, and find remedial measures.

At Skynet Technologies, we deliver ADA compliance mobile app services which incorporate all the features and designs to make it more professional and inclusive. We help to maximize the compatibility of your app with the current and future technologies as well to improve accessibility. We create new accessible mobile app or can make existing mobile application ADA compliance from various platforms such as iOS, Android, Flutter, React Native or any. We can develop any WordPress website, ecommerce website or online store or mobile app an ADA Compliant.

Interested in a free ADA compliance audit of your website or app?

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The Must Have WCAG 2.0 and 2.1 Checklist

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and 2.1 covers a wide range of recommendations for making web content more accessible. These guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these.

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Why Accessibility and SEO should be a part of your business growth!
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Nov 20, 20
Jul 20, 2021
Accessibility and SEO

Suppose you’re scrolling through a series of blog articles and once you reach the end of the page, you may encounter a text that says “read more”. Once you click through it, you may be directed to a longer list of blog posts. However, if you were a visually impaired person and relying on a screen reader, once you reach the end of the page, you’d be stuck in the endless ‘read more’ loop without further navigation. Instead of such a vague text, had the developer added a “read more blogs” snippet that is more descriptive, your screen reader would perform seamless navigation. However, minor it may seem to you, but for a visually impaired person, it does make all the difference by providing access to meaningful content on your website.

If your visitors find issues with your website such as intricate navigation, poor layouts, concealed call-to-action (CTA), bad web forms, hard-to-read content, etc. chances are high that your visitors abandon your site without coming back ever. This would have a direct impact on your SEO score resulting in a slump in search rankings. Thus, web accessibility offers a path-breaking benefit in the form of higher search rankings that go beyond optimized user experience. Hence, you need to empathize with your target audience and build your site so that it is not just optimized but also accessible to everyone. Website accessibility should thus be one of the important elements of your SEO strategy.

A fine line between Accessibility and SEO

We need to understand that web accessibility practices greatly translate into amazing SEO strategies, however, the vice-versa is not true. That is, not all SEO tactics improve web accessibility. For instance, keyword stuffing in the alt attribute of your image tag works well in terms of SEO, but for a screen reader, this may seem to be nothing but gibberish nullifying your web accessibility strategy. So, the thin line between accessibility aspects and SEO strategy should be carefully curated to pan out the results the way you desired.

Quality Keywords

Keyword stuffing is a common culprit in the proper keyword strategy. It can kill your SEO! Search engines often look for some cues to understand what’s your website is all about. For example, as we talked earlier about stuffing the alt attribute in the image tag, it is not going to improve your search engine rankings in any way. On the contrary, a slump in the search rankings shouldn’t be a surprise. Added to the keyword overloading are the hassles that a screen reader has to face. A quality text providing a proper context to both the screen readers as well as search engines is what is needed. The basic tenets of SEO correspond to accessible web content which should form the foundation stone of your SEO strategy.

ADA Compliant Web Design

Better User Experience

User experience is the ultimate factor that matters the most in SEO. Various factors impact the user experience on your website. A frictionless experience with a simple and easily navigable website structure is a huge bonus to you. The site speed also makes or breaks your user experience. With mobile traffic on the rise, having a great mobile experience is also an added bonus. Proper color contrasts, keyword navigation, descriptive headings, clear language, logical and structured layouts naturally lead to a better user experience even for people with disabilities. And that’s what matters the most for search engines boosting your SEO.

Wider Audience Reach

More than 25% of people in the US are disabled. Hence, making web accessibility an afterthought is actually an ineffectual plan. Web accessibility widens your audience reach by improving your ability to reach more people. Firstly, you are not denying access to people with various disabilities - visual, auditory, neurological, physical, motor, or cognitive ones. Everyone would be able to easily access your website without any hindrances. When your website is accessible, they also get better rankings in the search engines. This is positive reinforcement and it happens in a circular loop. When your website is accessible to a larger audience, it is easy for the search engines too to find your website more relevant, having a knock-on effect on search rankings.

ADA Compliance Services

Mobile Accessibility

Mobile traffic has totally eclipsed desktop users today. A huge chunk of traffic has been coming from mobile phones. As more and more content is consumed on handheld devices, mobile accessibility has become a crucial pillar of SEO. Poor mobile accessibility inadvertently hurts your SEO. So make your content flexible and resizable by following WCAG guidelines which reduce the need for third-party assistive technologies. Proper color contrast and font sizes impact the mobile user experience and they are likely to convert. Thus, improved SEO is a positive ramification of mobile accessibility.

Ease of Navigation

With web accessibility measures, one can ensure easier and consistent navigation even across a robust website. Navigation issues shouldn’t be ignored as a person with a disability may feel discriminated against and excluded from web access. Websites should be able to be accessed by keyboard, mouse, or any device for easier access and consumption of website content. There should be a plethora of digital landmarks in the code so that those users who rely on screen readers and other assistive technologies can navigate properly without facing any roadblocks.

Web accessibility entails providing text for non-text content, ensuring that your written content is in a readable format, logical formatting of your webpage content, using headings intentionally, and complying with WCAG standards. These inevitably ease the navigation of the users as they don’t have to rely on the text on the web page all the time.

Conclusion

Don’t get overwhelmed if you’ve never incorporated web accessibility into your SEO strategy. It’s never too late! Plan and prioritize web accessibility. Remember, web accessibility and SEO are overlapping strategies both having a similar scope of improving your user experience and taking you to a wider audience. On the outset, it may seem to be more expensive and daunting requiring web design overhaul, tweaking the layout changes, and rewriting the SEO strategy. However, all it takes is a prudent plan to make minor tweaks, and follow best practices to make your websites more accessible and SEO-friendlier.

When You choose the accessibility option for your website, it becomes universally accessible & it creates a positive user experience that is not only good for your business brand but also SEO. We can make your website ADA Compliant. Our specialized team of website designer ensures a Search engine friendly and user-friendly experience based on browsing patterns of the target audience and business need. Get a Free ADA Compliance Audit!

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9
What's new in WCAG 2.2 Release and how it impacts 2021 ADA Web Accessibility?
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Nov 17, 20
Aug 05, 2021
ADA Web Accessibility

What is WCAG?

WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It is an international standard for web accessibility developed by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), the standard organization responsible for HTML and CSS standards. The earlier versions of WCAG are 1.0, 2.0, 2.1 and the latest version WCAG 2.2 is set for official release in the summer of 2021. The latest version of WCAG works on top of the earlier version so the criteria of the older version remain along with the newly added success criteria. WCAG 2.2 is backward-compatible and has a total of 59 criteria with 50 from the previous version and 9 newly added.

WCAG 2.2 Checklist

WCAG has three conformance levels - A(lowest), AA (mid-range), and AAA (highest). You should strive to conform to the AA level. If you want to go the extra mile in improving your web accessibility, you may also try to incorporate AAA into your website/app.

WCAG 2.2 has introduced 9 new criteria taking the total AA guidelines to 59.

Guideline 2.4 Navigable

About how to help the users navigate, find the content they are looking for, and determine where they are in their user journey.

2.4.11 Focus Appearance (Minimum) (AA)

Make sure your focus indicator clearly stands out from the background. For the keyboard focus indicators, the following elements hold true:

  • Minimum Area - The focus indication area has got to be greater than/equal to 1 CSS pixel border of the control or a minimum thickness of 8 pixels along the shortest side of the element.
  • Change of Contrast - The focus indicator color change area has a contrast ratio of 3:1 with the unfocused state colors.
  • Adjacent Contrast - The focus indication area has a contrast ratio of 3:1 against all the adjacent colors or has a thickness of a minimum of 2 CSS pixels.
  • Unobscured - The focused item is not entirely concealed by the author-created content.

2.4.12 Focus Appearance (Enhanced) (AAA)

Make sure your focus indicator clearly stands out from the background. For the keyboard focus indicators, the following elements hold true:

  • Minimum Area - The focus indication area has got to be greater than/equal to 2 CSS pixel solid borders around the control.
  • Change of Contrast - The focus indicator color change area has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 with the unfocused state colors.
  • Unobscured - None of the focused items is entirely concealed by the author-created content.

2.4.13 Fixed Reference Points (A)

Ensure your e-publications have page numbers and if there are any printed versions, see that they match with that version as well. This mechanism helps is easy navigation maintaining the flow of content irrespective of the platforms.

Guideline 2.5 Input Modalities

For ease-of-use, while operating the functionality through various inputs other than the keyboard.

2.5.7 Dragging (AA)

Wherever dragging movements are required, you can provide alternatives such as tapping and clicking. This is helpful for people with mobility impairments.

2.5.8 Pointer Target Spacing (AA)

The interactive targets must take up at least 44*44 pixels of space except when:

  • Enlarge - A mechanism is there to change the CSS pixel size of each target, or spacing, so one can have an area of 44*44 CSS pixels that include it but no other targets.
  • Inline - When the target is in a sentence or a text block
  • User-Agent - The target size is controlled by the user agent and not modified by the author
  • Essential - A specific presentation of the target is important to the information being conveyed.

Guideline 3.2 Predictable

Display and operate the webpages in predictable ways.

3.2.6 Findable Help (A)

If the help option is available, make sure it is there consistently, in the same place so it can be easily located. Help option entails human contact details, self-help options, fully automated contact mechanisms.

3.2.7. Hidden Controls (AA)

The control mechanisms like edit buttons should be relevant, persistently visible, and not hidden somewhere. They shouldn’t be difficult to trace until they receive a mouse hover over or focus.

Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance

To help the users avoid and correct mistakes.

3.3.7 Accessible Authentication (A)

If there is a cognitive test in the authentication process, there needs to be an alternative way to authenticate that doesn’t rely on the cognitive function tests.

3.3.8 Redundant Entry (A)

While filling out a form, there need to be auto-populated or selection options that prompt the previously entered information. Password confirmation or abandoned forms are exceptions.

Impact of WCAG 2.2

Though WCAG 2.1 has a comprehensive set of accessibility guidelines, some users with specific needs still continue to face navigational issues. In fact, certain types of disorders that were ignored earlier were taken into account under the current regulations. Normative accessibility doesn’t cover a large number of impairments and disorders. For instance, cognitive or motor disorders. The guidelines have proposed minimum spacing which may vary from one user to another, especially if the user is having Parkinson’s disease, he may find it difficult to navigate. These disorders require very specific adaptations.

WCAG 2.2 was rolled out with the intention of enhancing the web accessibility furthermore with the underlying WCAG 2.1 guidelines. They focus on improving accessibility guidance for the users having cognitive and learning disabilities, users with poor vision, users of e-books, and users with disabilities on mobile phones. With the increase in mobile phone users, this new update is essential to ensure that the websites are created to optimize mobile device usability.

Why is it best to incorporate WCAG 2.2 Guidelines?

1. ADA Compliance Requirements

One should comply with WCAG 2.2 guidelines for legal reasons. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) although doesn’t mention web accessibility explicitly, the legal landscape dictates that the law extends even to the digital landscape. In fact, many businesses having a digital footprint faced lawsuits when their websites have violated ADA guidelines. WCAG 2.2 guidelines would be incorporated into the law in 2021 and hence it is advisable for the businesses to confirm with the latest standards to be at the top of your game.

2. Moral Reasons

When a section of the audience with disabilities pertaining to visual, auditory, motor, physical, cognitive, and neurological impairments are denied access to the web, then it is a clear case of discrimination. Even the web should be an inclusive space. With the right guidelines, one can make the web accessible to everyone. Businesses need to be thoughtful, socially conscious, and shouldn’t discriminate against anyone. One should strive to build a cascade of inclusiveness irrespective of the legally binding agreements.

3. Business Outcomes

There is a direct correlation between web accessibility and business performance as it offers you a competitive advantage and accentuates your digital presence. By improving the access to everyone, you are essentially increasing the number of possible visitors to your website/app. This is a larger opportunity for all pragmatic reasons as you improve your chances of conversion and also build a customer base. The inevitable outcome of building an accessible website is the financial benefits that stem from increased traffic- improved sales, low maintenance costs, avoiding legal costs, etc.

Closing Thoughts

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 has rolled out new guidelines to make the web content more accessible. With these, you are making the web content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities. This isn’t difficult but you need to understand the users with disabilities interact with your website/app. You need to focus on incorporating the best practices to construct an inclusive web.

Skynet Technologies is offering ADA compliant website design and development services followed by Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards. We can make your Drupal, WordPress, Magento, PHP, Laravel website or Android, iOS Mobile App ADA Compliant to make it accessible for everyone.

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The Must Have WCAG 2.0 and 2.1 Checklist

A Practical Resource Guide for Achieving Digital Accessibility Compliance

Our comprehensive accessibility and compliance guide enables you to create and maintain an inclusive web, mobile, and product experience through testing, audit, evaluation, and remediation.

Learn how to bring your digital properties into compliance with the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines by downloading our interactive checklist now.

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10
Things to Consider while you go for Complete ADA Website Audit!
By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Nov 14, 20
Jul 17, 2021
ADA Website Audit

All businesses are actively building their digital assets by strictly complying with ADA guidelines. ADA compliance is not just about legal obligations. One needs to provide a good user experience to the website visitors. If you are denying access to the disabled, you are also losing out potential customers. It isn’t just about business, that is the right thing to do! Companies are going for a complete ADA compliance audit to ensure that their website or mobile app is accessible to everyone without any discrimination.

A quick recap about ADA web compliance:

The Americans with Disabilities Act that was introduced in 1990 pertains to the civil rights of the citizens. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and demands equitable access to all public places. Accordingly, many businesses have set up wheelchair ramps, the automatic door opens, etc. to make their work environment more disabled-friendly. But with an increase in internet usage, the same clause is extended by default to the websites as well. Although there is no explicit mention, many companies had to face expensive lawsuits for violating ADA compliance measures. So, companies have started to take extra care making their websites accessible to avoid legal and financial overheads.

ADA Website Audit

ADA compliance audit may seem daunting but it is necessary. However, before you jump in to audit your site, you need to be mindful of a few things.

How do you handle Multimedia?

As per the National Health Survey, nearly 10% of US adults have visual impairment of some kind. Further, nearly 15% have reported hearing troubles. So, while conducting an ADA compliance audit, you need to make sure your website is accessible to everyone. You need to ask a few questions such as -

  1. Do you have audio descriptions to make videos more accessible?
  2. Do you include transcriptions and text captions in your videos and audio-only content?
  3. How about descriptive alt tags that can be interpreted by the screen readers?
  4. Can you avoid flash images, GIFs that may create seizures?

These things can be taken care of easily without any external technical help. A proper content management system takes care of the alt tags, content updates as needed. It also serves as a guide for your web designer or agency to follow the coding and design standards.

How to handle text and links?

Earlier, little thought was given to the users with visual impairments during the web design, and content marketing. These physical challenges were given a backseat till ADA compliance measures became mandatory. They should have undeterred access to the content especially links and text. You should find answers to the following questions:

  1. Do your text links clearly indicate that it is supposed to do instead of content such as click here, read more, etc.
  2. How about text color and font size adjustments?
  3. Are you avoiding the PDFs that cannot be interpreted by the screen readers?
  4. Do you allow headers for the data tables?

Many users with visual impairments depend on high-contrast colors and therefore, web design agencies have to make sure that there are no low-contrast colors on the website.

Does my website provide easy navigation?

People with disabilities must be able to navigate through the websites freely without any hindrances. When conducting an ADA compliance audit, you can focus on -

  1. Is the text and alt tags readable by the screen-readers?
  2. How about the form labels and field descriptions?
  3. A skip navigation link that allows screen readers to move straight to the main content
  4. Can we avoid dead ends in the pages using a keyboard?

It is better to start navigating through your website to understand the user’s pain points. You can uncover any dead end on the website, and gain a better understanding of the navigational flow.

Pick the ADA agency

Find an agency that has experience in working with the website development and inquire about how they maintain their workflows and address accessibility. There are some companies that have actual experience with website accessibility. You can go to such agencies. They might have prior experience working with website audits and generating reports. They would also have experience with various tools that can easily assess the website’s accessibility.

Conduct the ADA website audit

Conducting an audit is a prudent thing to make sure your website is ADA compliant. Once you start the audit, the tools crawl through the site and identify the areas that do not meet the ADA compliance standards. You can get a clear picture of the work involved for you so you can plan your budget properly and weigh the benefits. If you have a progressive platform and have used the best coding practices during your website build, then your site is fairly compliant and you may not need further remedial measures. Based on the results and site configuration, one can plan out the cost for the server setup, tools, and create a roadmap.

Determine the Actionable ADA Remedies

Once you are done with the audit, you can report to gauge the efforts required, plan out the timelines, budget, deliverables, and other expected elements. You will at least understand where you stand and can plan the process of implementing the ADA compliance guidelines. Once you have clearly formulated the roadmap, then you can seek your developer to work on the remedies and improve the overall user experience.

Conclusion

There are myriad ways in which one can benefit from making the website accessible- from avoiding lawsuits to providing a great user experience. By performing the audit, you’ll be able to understand the nuts and bolts of your website accessible to make it available to everyone. Although it is time-taking, there are many third-party agencies that can help you perform the audit and provide you some actionable insights.

With in-depth technical knowledge and measurable experience in checking all the aspect for compliance with WCAG 2.1 guidelines and create a detailed scope of work and areas where changes are needed. Skynet Technologies USA LLC provide complete ADA compliance audit to ensure your website is accessible for everyone. We can develop any website, mobile application or enterprise application ADA compliant!

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