Digital Accessibility

The Key Challenges in Digital Accessibility

Digital accessibility includes designing content to be inclusive of people who have visual, auditory, or cognitive disabilities. Lots of people have one of these disabilities. That is why there wants to be a universal design with convenience features.

How to Make Your website Digitally Accessible

A few guidelines can help your site meet industry standards under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Chiefly, these steps focus on web & mobile accessibility. Here is a look at the key challenges on the road to digital accessibility, & tips on avoiding all the potholes along the way.

Uncertainty Between Legal & Technical Frameworks

The sites have to be accessible to people who use assistive technology to browse the internet. Based on the way courts & the Department of Justice have understood the law so far, ADA compliance is obligatory for government and business sites. But the ADA does not provide any technical guidance or precise legal criteria for businesses to follow. Instead, the courts & the DOJ have rested on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as the standard for web convenience. But a lot is left up to clarification, including how many and which criteria a website needs to conform to be considered ADA compliant. That vagueness can present a risk for businesses, particularly as they grow in size and are held to high standards all while facing a big risk of getting charged for non-compliance. This condition is playing out in real-time as the number of related lawsuits increased by 400%. With the danger of legal action looming, many trades are turning to accessibility vendors that sell insufficient solutions. These vendors span inexpensive, automation-only solutions to classy manual audits, neither of which deliver continuing accessibility & compliance.

Man hand holding virtual world with internet connection for metaverse. Global business marketing and banking financial pass thru application technology concept.

Misleading Discourse & Lack of Transparency

Now, overlays are one of the contentious topics in chats about digital accessibility. An overlay is a snippet of code that enhances the functionality of a site. Overlays are characteristically offered by third parties & they range from chatbots & A/B testing solutions to site analytics & tracking tools. A popular instance is Google Analytics, which is found on approximately two-thirds of sites today. The overlay is used to describe toolbars and automation that detect & resolve accessibility issues such as smaller text or poor color contrast as the page gets loaded for the user. The trick with overlays is that they cannot detect or resolve each issue, no matter what the vendors say. Certain types of content like video, audio, & PDF can’t be fixed by overlays. Other issues need human intervention or need a level of nuance and consideration that is beyond the scope of automation nowadays. Finally, some overlays inhibit the work of assistive technology, such as screen readers. Tactlessly, the misleading discourse & false promises made by some sellers can make it difficult for trades to understand the difference between the simplest overlay & a solution that merges automation with expert human intervention.

Present Limits of Technology

Many shared accessibility issues can be identified & resolved with automated solutions, but the skill is not ready to stand alone. Now website automation can detect up to 70% of common accessibility matters today and it can resolve about two-thirds of them. This compared the automated test suite & automated remediation software to all the manual testing & remediation. For the enduring issues, automated technology is in its infancy. In-market solutions nowadays, it has yet to achieve the sophistication essential to reliably identify and determine more subtle accessibility issues, which need a rich contextual understanding of a web page’s content & its objective. Now automation aids address a majority of issues on a steady basis, saving time & other resources. By leaving most of the issues for manual scans & fixes, automation helps make development at a much fast pace.

Dynamic Nature of sites & Speed of Content Creation

Accessibility is not something you can do once, and forget. It is an ongoing commitment to making sure your site is accessible to all users. This can put a lot of pressure on businesses, especially when you reflect on the dynamic nature of sites & the speed of content creation. People progressively expect sites to deliver modified experiences based on their behavior, and other data. At a similar time, millions of blog posts, videos, and images are added each day. All that adds up to a net that is dynamic & constantly changing. But also, one that is problematic to make accessible. Each update to your site whether it is a complete renovation or the addition of a new product photo or any customer testimonial runs the risk of being unreachable to people with disabilities.


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