Nonprofits work tirelessly for the communities they serve and dedicate countless hours to programming and services. But many do not realize they could be failing some patrons by neglecting to provide access to their website content for persons with disabilities.
This disregard for web accessibility not only creates barriers for disabled patrons but also leaves organizations prone to lawsuits. Recent reports show that noncompliance with web accessibility standards remains the norm on most of the web. A 2020 analysis by WebAIM revealed that 98% of the most visited websites had accessibility failures as defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It leads to follow that lawsuits regarding accessibility noncompliance increased 177% in the last year.
"Of the 122,768 random pages from within the top 1300 sites, 97.8% had WCAG failures."
The W3C established the first web accessibility standards in 1997. Today, the group's regularly updated guidelines – known as WCAG – are widely considered the international standard for web accessibility best practices. The official accessibility guidelines are highly technical, but we've provided a simplified overview of some of the basics below. If you think your website falls short of WCAG recommendations, talk with your IT team about working toward compliance, or connect with us to get started with an accessibility audit.
- Provide text alternatives for all non-text content
- Provide synchronized alternatives for multimedia (such as video captions)
- Make it easy to distinguish foreground information from its background
- Make all functionality operable via a keyboard interface
- Allow users to control time limits on their reading or interaction
- Allow users to avoid content that could cause seizures due to photosensitivity
- Provide mechanisms to help users find and navigate through content
- Support compatibility with user agents (including assistive technologies)
- Ensure that content is accessible or provide an accessible alternative
Not sure if your website is WCAG compliant? Contact us for an accessibility audit, or download our quick accessibility worksheet.