Many of us depend on the Internet for information, communication, and our work. Yet until recent years, the design of most websites and apps did not take web accessibility into consideration, limiting some communities from accessing the information that so many of us depend on everyday.
This inequity led to the creation of a number of compliance standards for websites, including ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), and the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). These standards establish a tiered set of guidelines for web designers and developers to build websites using specific code features and design elements. Not only has this made many websites more accessible to groups with disabilities – it’s also an important step in building equity. Inclusivity is not just evident in the content of your organization’s communications, but also in how you present this information online.
Depending on the nature of your organization’s work, web accessibility may already be a part of the conversations you have everyday (perhaps your work is focused on communities with blindness, for example). Yet for many with small marketing teams with limited web development resources, these standards might be new to you. And that’s ok! Acknowledgement and education are the first steps in expanding the inclusivity of your web presence.
View your organization’s transition into compliance through the lens of your brand. Brand values are the essence of your brand, the code by which you live, the principles that drive your work. Whether or not your work directly relates to ADA, you can use your brand values to help you navigate and prioritize your approach to compliance. After all, your brand values aren’t always defined by what you say, but how you put them into action.
Your journey to compliance as an ongoing evolution. In fact, we ourselves are writing this post as we’re taking a deeper dive into improving the accessibility of our own site! You may not have the budget for a full website redesign, but do you have upcoming web projects that you can begin to implement compliance standards with? What elements of design or content on your current site can you begin to implement or improve? Resources such as this compliance tool can help you understand the standards and check web pages for levels of compliance.
Is your organization planning a web redesign with ADA compliance in mind? Reach out to us about how we can support your next project.