Conducting an accessibility audit is an essential part of evaluating the accessibility of your site.
Why do it?
Your website should be accessible to all users: conducting an accessibility audit is an essential part of evaluating how accessible your site really is. Since September 2018 meeting accessibility standard WCAG v2.1 is a requirement for public sector websites.
W3C set out guidelines for accessibility good practice. These are detailed in their Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and are regarded by the digital industry as being a good standard against which to benchmark the accessibility of websites in order to comply with the requirements of the 2010 Equality Act. Additionally, since 28th September 2018 new regulations for the public sector say “you must make your website or mobile app more accessible by making it ‘perceivable, operable, understandable and robust’”. This is achievable by conforming with WCAG 2.1 at AA standard and publishing an accessibility statement on the website.
Meeting this standard should ensure that most disabled users can use the site without major difficulty. In addition, it should make the site easier to use for all users. In many cases, disabled users shine a spotlight on issues that all users are likely to experience but might otherwise be hard to spot. Organisations who demonstrate a commitment to meeting the needs of disabled users are likely to reap the benefits of being seen to be corporately and socially responsible. Therefore, meeting the WCAG standard has much greater benefits than just ticking a box to meet GDS requirements or avoid the possibility of action under the Equality Act.
How we do it
We want accessibility to be easy to implement. The solutions we recommend are assessed in terms of priority and effort of implementation. We have designed our accessibility audit to give you known solutions to any problems found, and a context within which to apply them.
A representative selection of pages from your site are identified and checked for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG v2.1 and 2.2, as laid down by the W3C). The testing does not rely on automated checking – each page is evaluated ‘by hand’, as the W3C recommends.
We then produce a report that sets out:
- A summary of the key issues, with tables showing the progress made to each of the three levels of accessibility: A, AA and AAA
- A prioritised list of issues to be addressed that indicate the severity of the issue and an estimate of the resource required to address this
- A detailed description of the accessibility issue, why it isn’t compliant with the WCAG v2.0 and 2.1 checkpoints with recommendations of how the issue should be addressed and examples of revised coding where appropriate
We also recommend a follow up meeting, where we would present the outcomes and discuss how best the changes can be implemented in light of the constraints faced by the client.
A compliant accessibility statement that can be published on the audited website is included in the cost of an accessibility audit.