Accessibility Auditing And Testing

Many Websites and Digital Materials Aren’t Accessible to People with Disabilities. Our Comprehensive Accessibility Audit Will Tell You How Yours Fare.

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Accessibility Audit - How is it done?

The process of accessibility auditing seeks to determine the current state of your site or application’s accessibility.

Includia uses a combination of automated and manual evaluation techniques. To ensure integrity to any accessibility check, automated tools and non-technical tests are used.

Automated checkers provide an efficient and thorough review of the content and underlying code, but they can't identify every accessibility issue.

However, an additional manual review completes the assessment. To manually test your site, review the content, test with a keyboard, and use a screen reader to make sure your website is accessible and inclusive to everyone.

Who Is Responsible For Accessibility?

The short answer is everyone is responsible for accessibility. This includes CEOs, managing directors, marketing managers, content creators, website designers, website developers, training teams, equality and inclusion officers, HR, procurement teams, and project managers.

Accessibility must be a team effort. Even if an organization’s CEO or manager sensibly proposes an accessibility audit, understanding what the findings mean and implementing the necessary changes is the responsibility of all those who have access to or create content for that website.

The Different Types Of Accessibility Audits

VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template)

A VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) relates to 508 Standards. It helps federal agencies and government buyers to assess whether or not a product is accessible when conducting marketing research, or evaluating purchase proposals.

For any creators of digital products or websites, having VPAT compliance isn’t a legal requirement. However, it may be required by the potential purchasers of that product to ensure accessibility for its intended audience.

Design Audit

A design audit allows for accessibility checking at the earlier stages of web design and development. It provides actionable insights to ensure a website remains accessible, at a stage when remedial work is more convenient to implement. The results of a design audit will facilitate an easier user journey, and can also benefit other areas including customer engagement, conversion rates, and overall satisfaction.

Custom Accessibility Audit

Custom audits are curated to fit the needs of your customer's accessibility needs. Bringing our vast knowledge of web design and accessibility best practices to the table, we can offer a tailored service that gets to the heart of any accessibility requirements unique to your organization.

What Will I Get With A Web Accessibility Audit?

Includia considers a broad range of web accessibility frameworks as part of any accessibility audit we undertake. Here is an overview of these aspects.

Automated Testing

Performed with intelligent automated testing tools for faster turnaround times.

Screen Reader Testing

A screen reader test can flag up issues with reading order, spelling, interactive elements and dynamic content. We use NVDA + Chrome on Windows 10 by default. Additional browser and screen reader combinations are available on request.

Keyboard Testing

Replicate a keyboard user's actions to audit the keyboard focus and interaction. Keyboard testing checks if all interactive elements can be selected and activated using the keyboard.

Code Level Snippets

Get code snippets that provide the exact location of violations and help you to resolve issues.

Thorough Reporting

A well-documented, and detailed report on where the issues occurred, and what WCAG success criteria it violates. Any fixes required will be listed so that remedies can be implemented.

Executive Summary

An exceptional level summary, containing a review of all the findings, along with key information needed to make the necessary changes.

Accessibility Audit Benefits

First and foremost, having an accessible website is for the benefit of disabled users. It removes barriers to independence, ensuring a fairer society for everyone. However, the benefits of accessibility stretch into almost all corners of a business itself. Few organizations realize the potential accessibility can bring, including generating an incredible ROI on any accessibility auditing, reporting, or remedial works.

Complying With Moral Obligations Surrounding Inclusivity

As an individual or organization, you may be familiar with the famous proverb about ‘walking a mile in someone else’s shoes’ before judging them. The idea being to practice empathy. Yet, we should all extend this mantra in how we design our products or services too, including the design of a website.

In the modern world, particularly when using technology, it is easy to only factor in our own user experiences. When in reality, just because you may find it easy to navigate a website and complete particular tasks online, this doesn’t mean it will be the same positive experience for everyone else.

So why should anyone have to miss out on using the internet with ease, just because they may have a disability? The answer is they shouldn’t. It’s impossible to know whether your website is a help or a hindrance to other internet users unless it has been audited. An Includia Accessibility Audit Report will do just that, to bring about change that will be of positive benefit for everyone.

Boost Profitability

Our research found one in four people are considered to have some form of a disability. That’s a quarter of your audience.

Forbes suggests that by making a website accessible it becomes usable by 135 million more people in the EU alone. In the US specifically, a quarter of the population amounts to 85 million people.

It’s impossible to say how much profit having an accessible website will generate for any organization exactly. But, what is certain is that if a website is not accessible even to one person, conversions are not as high as they should be.

Regardless of your industry, every organization wants the user journey on a website to be as seamless as possible. This is to encourage longer browsing sessions, repeat visits, page sharing, and ultimately purchases. But, none of this is possible if a user is blocked from using a page or completing an action due to having a disability.

Therefore, the answer to boosting profits isn’t always down to better advertising. Sometimes the answer lies closer to home, especially if your website is potentially excluding 25% of people due to being inaccessible.

Securing New Business Contracts

As W3 guidelines state, “Businesses that integrate accessibility are more likely to be innovative, inclusive enterprises that reach more people with positive brand messaging that meets emerging global legal requirements.”

It’s not just active website users who you may be losing out on if your website is not accessible. That’s because if your website works in conjunction with any government services it must be accessible. If this is not the case, your website will not be purchasable and ultimately usable by that organization.

Ultimately, depending on how your organization operates, its ability to scale could be severely limited if it is found to not be accessible. Given there really is no good reason not to provide an inclusive service, a reluctance to comply could cost far more than it would have done to conduct an audit and implement the necessary changes.

Legal Risk Mitigation

As noted in our section ‘Website Accessibility Laws & Guidance’, your website may be in breach of the law, or at the least basic web principles if it is not accessible.

The number of lawsuits filed against companies with inaccessible websites is growing, especially if websites are in breach of ADA Title III. While tools including accessibility overlays can sometimes comply with WCAG guidelines, such tools often lack the integrity needed to provide authoritative, in-depth results.

But with an Includia Accessibility Audit, the process is meticulous from start to finish. Not only will this provide more accurate information on the current state of your website, but having a watertight system reduces vulnerabilities that can lead to legal action in the future.

In fact, should legal action be brought against a company due to web accessibility issues, a lack of any accessibility auditing could paint that organization in a very bad light. But by showing your commitment to accessibility through auditing, reporting, and regular reviews, such outcomes are far less likely.

Providing The Highest Level Of User Experience And Satisfaction

Beyond moral obligations, you could be losing out on vital business if your website is not accessible. Considering our above statistic about one in four US citizens alone having some form of disability, this is potentially a quarter of your customer base who may not be able to access your website properly.

When a website is user-friendly, it provides a high level of satisfaction across the board. The result means people are more likely to visit that website, recommend it and return to it. There are even benefits for SEO and paid advertising when accessibility is on-point, making it a win-win for users and organizations alike.

Accessibility Audits Offer Better Results Than Other Tools Or Processes

Any organization which considers accessibility in any capacity should pat itself on the back. However, while the likes of automated tools, browser extensions, accessibility linters, component plugins or end-to-end testing should be applauded, these efforts cannot always guarantee your website is fully accessible.

Furthermore, relying solely on accessibility overlays is not a web accessibility solution. Instead, they can be seen as a cost-cutting measure that ultimately cuts corners and does not deliver effective results.

The way an Accessibility Audit Reports works is different. Not only does it offer a fresh pair of eyes, but a report creates actionable steps for your entire organization. It considers practices and principles even outside your own jurisdiction to ensure true compliance for all. The latest information is applied to all findings, offering the most robust method of improving accessibility for your website.

For any organization committed to being as inclusive as possible, an Includia Accessibility Audit Report offers the very best framework to make impactful changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

New to all things accessibility auditing? We have answered some of the most common questions about the process below. If you don’t see your query, please send us a message and our team will get back to you.