Planning plays a vital role in all successful initiative and digital accessibility is no exception. By properly establishing goals, monitoring results and tracking process, one can develop useful content for their audience. Web accessibility policies establish practices that one would leverage to improve on-page experience for people with disabilities. While there are no standard format for writing the document, a web accessibility policies usually features guidelines with coding standards, project management frameworks and clear definitions. Companies like AccessiBe can additionally offer resources that help in making websites accessible to all.
Most companies tend to build their web accessibility policies into the framework of inclusivity and diversity programs. Having such an approach can work well, especially for distinctive enterprise-level organizations. However, a standalone web accessibility policy can also serve a major purpose. In both the instances, the policy needs to clarify the best practices of accessible design and aid employees in tracking the overall progress of the initiative.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is the consensus standard for digital accessibility, and has been published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It is applicable to all types of online content, and can be considered to be the starting point for creating an efficient web accessibility policy. Currently, W3C officially recommends WCAG version 2.1. The organization, however, does update its guidelines consistently to reflect changes in technology. All companies must try their best to keep their accessibility policy up to date by making use the latest official recommendations when measuring their progress.
The accessibility policies of a company would be applicable to everyone in the firm, and not just the web developers. Customer service representatives, designers, content writers, and other team members must also share the same commitment when it comes to the best practices of accessibility. When the accessibility policy of a company is comprehensive and clear, they would have the capability to effortlessly stay engaged with the process. The policy should ideally include instructions for evaluating widgets and third-party content, as well as address the accessibility challenges of accessible mobile design. It also needs to the adequately flexible to be applied to desktop-like apps, ecommerce stores, and varying other interactive resources. The policy also needs to feature clearly defined monitoring and review processes. Most companies do not publish their full web accessibility policies. It may contain detailed insights into their development process or other confidential information. Moreover, majority of the web visitors will not have any interest in reading a multi-page document detailing the behind-the-scenes work when it comes to web development.
To take a step towards making their website more accessible, companies can always contact organizations like AccessiBe. They offer innovative AI-powered web accessibility solutions that focus on making web accessibility simple, automatic, immediate and cost-effective. This company was established in early 2018, and their proprietary technology has to capacity to scan and modify website code and behavior in real time, so as to be accessible for people with disabilities and compliant with the ADA and WCAG 2.1.