Affordable ADA Solutions: How Do WCAG 2.1 Requirements Apply?

The best way to build an ADA compliant website, despite there not being any explicit instructions from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), is to follow the WCAG requirements for accessibility. WCAG stands for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and serves as a reference point for businesses looking to improve accessibility for their websites. While not a law, requirement, or regulation of any kind, many organizations, disability lawyers, and judges have begun using WCAG requirements to set the standard for non-accessible websites. The latest version of WCAG is 2.1, which includes extended parameters for accessibility.

There are several ways to approach compliance for ADA requirements, including hand-coding to fix discovered issues, screen overlay products, and software solutions. Unfortunately, hand-coding can be expensive and will not cover future changes to the website, and screen overlays have been proven to be ineffective. The solution that we use at SouthCoast Internet is an artificial intelligence (AI) system that is fully automated, providing full ADA compliance within 48-hours of installation and ongoing 24/7 maintenance to ensure that all new content meets WCAG requirements as well. After much research regarding hand-coded development, WCAG and overlay websites, we have determined software-based affordable ADA solutions to be the most effective choice.

Meeting WCAG Requirements

According to disability lawyers and judgments made in courts across the nation, companies are charged with making sure that their corporate websites are designed in such a way that disabled users can access it just as effectively as non-disabled users. For those who use the hand-coded method, this would mean installing certain technologies designed to help sight-impaired users to have the text on the screen read to them with a screen reader. Advancements made in this area for visual impairments can also include refreshable Braille text for touchscreen users. As you can imagine, this could become quite costly for a business to turn large or multiple non-accessible websites into compliant digital properties. And this approach only identifies the issues experienced by one demographic of disabled users.

Instead of employing specific tools for each anticipated disability, which can include those with visual, audio, color, or light-and-motion sensitive individuals, many website owners look for affordable ADA solutions. Website plug-ins and systems known as screen overlays are frequently chosen for their ease-of-use and low-cost. However, studies have shown that there is a serious issue with WCAG and overlay websites or plug-ins. When compared to the latest 2.1 version for WCAG requirements, many of these programs only provide a minimum percentage of compliance, leaving organizations vulnerable to lawsuits. It’s not enough to just “make an effort,” the goal for non-accessible websites should be to find a solution that meets all of the criteria for the WCAG 2.1 to fully protect them and provide access to anyone who wants to visit or use their website.

Advanced Software Solutions

In our own search for affordable ADA solutions that would help our business websites to be compliant with ADA Title III, we discovered accessiBe, an AI automated system that offers complete compliance for WCAG 2.1, ADA, Section 508, and EAA/EN 301549. It delivers the industry’s highest success rate, providing a re-scan of the entire website every 24-hours to ensure compliance. The team behind this solution worked side-by-side with real people who have disabilities to develop a system that would work seamlessly to make non-accessible websites fully compliant. Once implemented on a website, accessiBe scans and analyzes the website to determine which functions and elements need to be adjusted based on the particular needs of the user. Screen-reader adjustments, navigation elements, popups, menus, buttons, and other design changes can be applied according to the user’s requirements.

In addition to helping websites meet strict WCAG requirements for accessibility, this solution also provides businesses with an accessibility statement and certificate of performance that they can use to prove compliance, should they ever be questioned or served with a lawsuit. Monthly compliance auditing and a complete re-scan of the website every 24-hours helps to prevent future issues from occurring for any new posts, pages, product listings, or content added to the website. Quick and easy to use, most websites will be fully compliant within 48-hours of installation. The accessibility interface appears instantly on the website, offering visitors automatic compliance to the latest ADA standards. After using these intuitive and affordable ADA solutions on our own websites, we are 100 percent confident to recommend it to our clients.

Get Your Non-Accessible Websites Compliant Today!

If you are interested in learning more about these affordable ADA solutions or want to know whether your website meets the current WCAG requirements, contact SouthCoast Internet today by calling 508-415-8646. We can provide additional information about how accessiBe satisfies requirements for WCAG and overlay websites, plug-ins, and other solutions miss the mark. Visit our website for a free demo of this valuable software solution or to get your non-accessible websites compliant with ADA requirements today!