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WCAG Best Practices: How ClerksWell Can Help Your Company Achieve Digital Inclusivity
More than ever before, ensuring website accessibility is of paramount importance.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide a framework for creating inclusive websites that cater to the needs of all users, including those with disabilities and impairments. Considering that over 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning difficulty, and nearly 2.5 million people in the UK have a manual dexterity issue, it is crucial for your website to have optimal accessibility standards.
However, implementing WCAG best practices can be a complex process. This is where digital agencies like ClerksWell come into play, offering expertise to help companies create accessible and inclusive online experiences.
In this blog, we will explore WCAG's best practices and discuss how a digital agency can assist companies in achieving website accessibility.
Understanding WCAG Best Practices
The WCAG guidelines outline several best practices for creating accessible websites. Here are some key areas to focus on:
- Alternative Text (Alt Text): Provide alternative descriptive text for images to enable screen readers to convey image information to visually impaired users.
- Captions and Transcripts: Include captions and transcripts for audio and video content, making them accessible to individuals with hearing impairments.
- Text Alternatives for Non-Text Content: Ensure that non-text content, such as infographics or charts, is accompanied by text descriptions.
- Keyboard Accessibility: Design websites that can be fully operated using a keyboard, allowing users who rely on keyboard navigation to navigate and interact with the content.
- Focus Indication: Ensure a clear visual indication of focus when navigating interactive elements, helping users understand their current location on the page.
- Consistent Navigation: Maintain a consistent layout and navigation structure throughout the website, helping users find information more easily.
- Timeouts and Pauses: Avoid using automatic timeouts or page refreshes, allowing users ample time to read and interact with content.
- Clear Language: Use plain and concise language to improve comprehension for all users, avoiding jargon or complex terminology.
- Consistent Navigation: Maintain a consistent layout and navigation structure throughout your website, making it easy for users to find and understand the content.
- Error Handling: Provide descriptive error messages and suggestions for users to correct input errors, facilitating a smooth user experience.
- Semantic HTML: Utilise proper HTML markup to provide the proper structure and meaning to content, allowing assistive technologies to interpret it correctly.
- Compatibility with Assistive Technologies: Ensure the website is compatible with assistive technologies such as screen readers, magnifiers, and voice recognition software.
How ClerksWell Can Help
At ClerksWell, we can create accessible and inclusive web experiences. Here's how ClerksWell can assist your company:
An Accessibility Review: Upon determining the desired level of conformance, our experts at ClerksWell will conduct an in-depth review of your website, recommending practical modifications to ensure compliance with WCAG 2.0 or 2.1 AA guidelines (and 2.2 when it is released). The assessment involves checking your site across multiple devices, focusing on common issues like keyboard accessibility, alt text, lack of multimedia alternatives, and colour contrasts. Furthermore, our team will investigate the potential of integrating third-party tools such as ReciteMe, which we successfully implemented for our client ABPI Schools. This tool enhances accessibility compliance by offering additional features like language translations and screen reading capabilities. Using our expert's knowledge of accessibility in conjuncture with a third-party tool, you can be sure that your website will be WCAG compliant, as using a third-party tool can miss about 29% of accessibility issues.
Content Fixes: ClerksWell is committed to ensuring your website is accessible and user-friendly. Our team will collaborate with your content creators to pinpoint crucial front-end and content concerns that need to be addressed. This includes elements such as H1 headings and alt text for images and enhancing image captions. By addressing these priority areas, we aim to optimise your site's accessibility in line with WCAG guidelines.
Development Fixes: Addressing specific accessibility issues necessitates expert intervention in development and design. At ClerksWell, our accessibility specialists are well-equipped to handle these tasks. Our team are proficient in WCAG AA 2.1 web accessibility guidelines. This ensures our client's websites are always compliant, providing a seamless and inclusive user experience.
Website accessibility is crucial for creating an inclusive online experience. WCAG guidelines provide a framework for achieving accessibility, but implementing them can be challenging. Digital agencies like ClerksWell bring our expertise, knowledge, and experience to the table, helping companies create accessible websites that cater to the diverse needs of all users. By partnering with a digital agency, companies can ensure that their websites meet WCAG standards and provide equal access to information.
Our clients’ journey to accessibility
Smart Energy GB website initially had restricted accessibility options. But through accessible development practices and the integration of ReciteMe and a 3rd party accessibility tool, we were able to ensure the Smart Energy GB website can be accessed by everyone, regardless of disability. Every step of our development process was directed by Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Other clients that have recently benefitted from accessibility assessment reviews include:
Want to learn more about accessibility? Read our other blogs!
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