Accessibility of web content for people with disabilities is an important topic that concerns all companies and organisations that want to ensure that their websites are accessible to all users. To this end, there are two important standards: WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).
WCAG are recommendations on the accessibility of web content for people with different types of disabilities. They have been developed by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) and consist of three levels of compliance (A, AA, AAA) and 12 core accessibility principles. These compliance levels define the minimum requirements that a website must meet to be accessible to people with disabilities.
The ADA is a US federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the areas of employment, access to public services, transportation, education and accessibility to public buildings. This law was passed in 1990 and is one of the most important pieces of legislation in the US regarding accessibility for people with disabilities.
Both standards aim to make web content accessible to people with disabilities, but their requirements may differ. It is therefore important to understand both standards and what requirements must be met to ensure that a website is accessible to all users, including people with disabilities.
One important element of accessibility is mobile accessibility. More and more people are accessing the internet via smartphones and tablets, so it is important that a website is responsive and accessible on different devices.
Accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities is also important. This means that the website should be easy to understand for people with reading difficulties, hearing impairments and visual impairments.
This is important to remember that non-compliance with WCAG and ADA requirements can have legal consequences, so it is important to regularly check your website for accessibility and make any necessary changes.
Common WCAG and ADA elements regarding web content accessibility include:
- Alternative descriptions for images and videos so that visually impaired people can understand the content. et_pb_text: content
- Audio for videos so that people with hearing impairments can understand the content.
- Good contrast between text and images so that people with visual impairments can read the text more easily.
- No use of only one form of information presentation so that people with disabilities can benefit from different forms of presentation such as text, audio and images.
- Ease of navigation and use so that people with disabilities can easily navigate the website.
- No barriers for people with reading difficulties, such as complex words or syntax.
- Provide support for specialised devices, such as screen readers, for people with disabilities.
It is important to remember that the ADA and WCAG are compatible, but the ADA is a law and WCAG is a recommendation, and WCAG compliance does not automatically mean ADA compliance.
The 12 basic principles for web content accessibility in WCAG are:
- Perception: Content must be presented in a way that can be understood by different types of perception, e.g. sight, hearing, etc.
- Contrast: Content must have sufficient contrast to be readable by people with different types of vision.
- Comprehensibility: Content must be understandable to users, regardless of their language level.
- Navigation: Content must be easy to navigate so that users can easily move around the site.
- Changing context: A change of context, such as moving to another page or to another part of the same page, must be clear and understandable to users.
- Alternative texts: Information presented through images, sounds and videos must be accessible through alternative texts to facilitate accessibility for people with disabilities.
- Synchronisation: Information presented through sound and visuals must be synchronised to facilitate understanding.
- Changing formats: Content must be available in different formats to facilitate accessibility for people with different disabilities.
- Tables: Information presented in tables must be understandable and readable by users, both for those who can see them and for those who use screen readers.
- Scaling: Content must be scalable to make it easier to read for people with visual impairments.
- Timing: Content that requires user interaction, such as forms, must be accessible for a reasonable amount of time and should not require the user to respond quickly.
In summary, accessibility of web content for people with disabilities is an important topic that concerns all companies and organisations. WCAG and ADA are two important standards that help ensure that a website is accessible to all users, including people with disabilities. Understanding these standards and meeting their requirements is key to ensuring web content is accessible to people with disabilities. It is also important for meeting legal requirements and avoiding possible legal consequences related to non-compliance with these standards. It is therefore important to regularly check your website for accessibility and make the necessary changes to ensure accessibility for all users, including people with disabilities.