Why Comply with ADA Standards?
The Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990, which was more or less the infancy of the world wide web. While many believe that ADA standards apply only to physical locations, the law has been interpreted to apply to digital settings. In recent years, there have been an uptick in drive-by lawsuits with legal teams demanding that website and mobile app operators work to adhere to accessibility standards or risk being sued.
Besides the legal reasons and the fact that you are compelled to comply, you should want to, in order to ensure fairness to those who legitimately need help accessing digital assets. As such, compliance with ADA standards should be a priority for any business owner.
Benefits of a Third-Party Audit
Unfortunately, the standards around ADA compliance and accessibility are loosely defined, hard to keep up with or understand, and difficult at times to remedy. Having a third-party run an ADA audit on your behalf makes it easy to identify the issues that are present, propose remedies, and proceed with generating ongoing plans to maintain compliance with the law.
What We Test
As part of our testing practice, we focus on the WCAG 2.1 guidelines. These guidelines were designed to make web content more accessible to all users who require assistance. As such, our team will test for functionality designed to aid and assist a wide range of disabilities, including blindness or low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity, and more.
Each audit is different, but each also follows a similar script. First, we'll scope the specific website, pages, templates, and areas of concern will be reviewed. Then, we'll begin testing within those pre-agreed upon areas. Then, we'll aggregate a findings report, as detailed below, and present it to you for your consideration and remediation.
How do we conduct our audits? We use a variety of different techniques, including but not limited to the following:
- Testing Software: We will utilize software packages available to streamline testing.
- Human Analysis: Our experts will review each page, template, or content piece against WCAG 2.1.
- Assistive Technology: We utilize various tools as seen in practical usage.
- Mobile / Responsive Testing: We will test web properties utilizing mobile devices and associated assistive tools.
- User Testing: We'll test your property with real-world users.
- Keyboard Only: We'll audit to make sure keyboard-only users are accommodated.
Findings Report & Presentation
When the audit and testing process is completed, we will then submit to you our findings. This can be via a screen share or in-person meeting. Our findings report average 25 - 35 pages, depending on the size of the sample and overall web property. Each report will contain the following sections:
- Executive Overview
- Identified Issues
- Recommended Remedies
- Severity Report
- Examples & Test Methods