Why Does Accessibility Matter?
According to the National Federation for the Blind, there are over 7.3 million people in the United States alone who have varying degrees of blindness.
The U.S. Census found over one million deaf people and over eight million who are hard of hearing.
Neurological disabilities, including epilepsy, affect nearly one billion people worldwide.
Color blindness in various forms affects approximately 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women globally.
In other words, web accessibility issues affect many more people than you may think—in ways you may not expect.
Accessibility Quick Reference for EditorsDownload the Checklist
The Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (external link) requires all sites to be accessible, and requirements are further spelled out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) (external link). And you could be liable.
Thankfully, there’s a system in place to make sure your website is as accessible to those with permanent and temporary disabilities, and we can help.
We Can Help
WCAG (The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) are separated into four distinct categories: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. Within these guidelines, there are three grades of compliance: A, AA, and AAA.
Legally, most sites simply need to be accessible to the A level, though some industries and agencies, such as the United States government, requires at least AA. At Blend, we build to a AA level, but strive in some cases to go beyond, to AAA.
Blend Interactive can help make your site more accessible in two ways:
- An accessibility audit
- An on-site “Writing for Accessibility” workshop
Accessibility Audit Client: Great Western Bank
“What I always appreciate about working with the experts at Blend, and continue to appreciate, is that we can have candid conversations at any stage in a project. This allows us to routinely accomplish what we set out to do.”
Digital Marketing Consultant
Great Western Bank
An accessibility audit from Blend will surface accessibility issues you may not even know exist.
Blend Interactive will:
- Conduct a technical crawl of your website to find common editorial accessibility issues.
- Use top-level accessibility tools to provide a template-by-template review of your site to uncover design and development accessibility issues.
- Execute manual testing to simulate common accessibility situations, such as keyboard-only, screen-reader-only, and zoomed in browsers.
- Deliver a report outlining both critical and optional accessibility issues to the level of WCAG AA, unless a higher level is required.
- Provide a plan to help solve both development and editorial issues.
Writing for Accessibility Workshop
Making your site accessible means more than just fixing templates and updating design — it means assigning helpful editorial metadata and writing in a way that can be understood by more people.
Access Granted: Our paper on accessibility and your web content.Download the Paper
Blend’s half-day accessibility workshops provide real-world practice in writing for accessibility, including:
- An overview of web accessibility, what it means and how it affects different kinds of site visitors
- Alternative text for images and videos
- Writing headings and page titles for better navigation and findability
- Writing content for easy translation, including plain text and content design
- Understanding reading level - and its benefits and negatives
- Writing descriptive text links
- Integrating and building a team and culture of accessibility
- What’s more, Blend can stick around after the workshop to help be a resource as your team begins applying their newfound knowledge to real web content.
Web Accessibility Resources
For more information on our experience with web accessibility and our web accessibility audits:
- Accessibility Checklist for Editors
- Web Accessibility: A Primer, a quick overview of web accessibility
- Access Granted: Web Accessibility and Your Content, our white paper on web accessibility
- Sample Accessibilty Audit
- Case Study: Great Western Bank