Lets talk about accessibility!
You are here - you've taken the first step towards making your website compliant with the industry recognized accessibility standards. Website accessibility hasn't always been a practice web teams have focused on so intently. But now, it is something that all website managers and editors should be ackowleding as a part of their web strategy. Every website is different and will require different content, visual and functional adjustments in order to reach the desired level of compliance.
Ready to make moves but not sure where to look? Blend can help. We've called on our team of accessibilty experts and have created resources, outlined the high points you should know about accessibility and can step in as needed to guide you to being web accessible. First step: keep reading to learn more on accessibility as a pratice and how Blend helps our clients avoid legal action as a result of webiste accessibility. Second: download our Editor's Checklist to get a first glance at where your site meets expectations or leaves room for improvement!Access Accessibility Checklist
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.
Web Accessibility as told by a lawyer and Blend's Director of StrategyCheck It Out
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 helps our clients reach the level of website accessibility standards that are outlined in the WCAG. We help clients identify the areas of their website that would be considered vulnerable to legal action.
In addition to the work we do in designing and building accessible websites, Blend can help make your site more accessible in two ways:
Website Accessibility can feel intimidating and as website experts, we do what we can to provide clarity around the topic. We provide resources explaining the ins and outs of web accessibility and provide guides to help you navigate through the confusion of making sure your website meets the WCAG standards. Still haven't downloaded the Editor's Checklist? No better time than the present!Access Accessibility Checklist
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
Blend conducts an audit of the website through a combination of automated software,human troubleshooting, and content evaluation to provide a thorough analysis, surfacing accessibility issues you may not even know exist.
- Blend’s accessibility audit includes:A technical crawl of your website to find common editorial accessibility issues.
- Use of top-level accessibility tools to provide a template-by-template review of your site, uncovering design and development accessibility issues.
- Manual testing to simulate common accessibility scenarios, such as keyboard-only, screen-reader-only, and zoomed in browsers.
- A report outlining both critical and optional accessibility issues to the level of WCAG AA, unless a higher level is required.
- A roadmap plan to help solve both development and editorial issues.
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.Read More About Accessibility
Ready to get your hands on the editor checklist and start making progress towards an accessible website? Let us know a little bit about you and we'll follow up with an email straight to your inbox with the checklist and more accessibility content!
Blend's Work in Improving Accessibility
Providing a Usable and Accessible Banking Experience
To some, a bank’s front door is the website, which means the website needs to be as inclusive as the building itself.
- Client: Great Western Bank
- Industry: Financial Services
Accessible and Fast Front-End for the State of South Dakota
A partnership with a local agency to help integrate a custom Umbraco site for state government.
- Client: South Dakota Department of Revenue
- Industry: Government