How to Check Your Website for Web Accessibility – ADA Compliance
By Garry Grant
I’ve written here on the blog about ADA compliance, also known as 508 compliance, or more broadly, as web accessibility. My daughter is blind, and because of that, her online experience often suffers because many websites fail to provide adequate solutions for those with disabilities. Websites are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but only agencies that receive federal funding, such as non-profit organizations, government agencies, public schools, and public colleges and universities are required to be compliant.
It doesn’t take as much effort as you may think to ensure your site is compliant for anyone with a disability. Even if your customers aren’t blind like my daughter, you may have some who suffer from vision issues, which makes your content hard to read. Without proper alt tags, screen readers won’t be able to depict what’s on the screen accurately.
And of course, vision issues are only one segment of disability that your customers and potential customers may be dealing with. There’s also those who have hearing difficulties, motor disabilities, and learning disabilities such as dyslexia. In another one of my previous posts on the subject, I covered the essential list of things you need to consider in building a 508 compliant website, so today, I’m going to make sure you know how to check your website to see how well you’re meeting compliance.
Using the information you get from the checkers and the list I’ve provided, you should have a good idea of how well you’re meeting the mark, and what else, if anything, needs to be done to ensure total compliance.
List of Tools to Check Website Accessibility and Your Site’s ADA Compliance
The following is a list of various tools you can use to evaluate how well your site meets website accessibility standards.
This tool is more than a web accessibility checker. It’s a sitemap generator that checks for website accessibility, inventories and audits your content, and tracks keywords daily. Results are shown within visual sitemaps for easy use. Version 20.0 includes the visual accessibility testing that shows issues visually in your browser, covering a variety of guidelines, including WCAG 2.1 — W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, WCAG 2.0 — W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, WCAG 1.0 W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, Section 508, U.S. federal procurement standards, Stanca Act, BITV, Italian accessibility legislation, and German government standards. The program assists by automatically checking groups of pages or sites, including those that are restricted or password protected, and generating reports of assessment results. Supported formats include CSS, HTML, and XHTML. Plans start at $40/month.
This tool is available through the Bureau of Internet Accessibility. It covers WACG, Section 508, and ADA compliance. Clients are assigned to a dedicated manager who oversees their site to assist with anything the platform generates from their reports. The platform checks individual web pages or groups of pages – with its web-based, online, hosted service. It supports CSS, HTML, XHTML, PDF, SVG, and SMIL file …read more
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