by Mark Tennant
Is your web platform accessible to all your users before it hits the market?
Remember, not everyone uses standard browsers or the latest operating system. Many people rely on text readers and audio scanners to access the information on your site and interact with it.
For example, you may think your website’s colour scheme really stands out, but it could be utterly unreadable to a visually impaired user.
And if your app cannot be interpreted by screen readers, then how can a hearing-impaired user make a purchase if they can’t read all the required fields at the checkout?
Some estimated 7-21% of adults identify themselves as requiring additional accessibility features for websites and mobile applications.
Unfairly ignoring an entire slice of the population is not just providing a poor customer service – it’s also against the law.
If you exclude anyone from using your web platform based on a disability, you could breach the UK’s Equality Act 2010 or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) legislation, or other country-specific rule and regulations. An example of this is the Directive (EU) 2016/2102 which was approved with the goal to increase web and mobile accessibility.
Can you be sued?
Basically, yes. The RNIB has approached two large companies with regards to their website. When they raised these accessibility issues of the websites under the DDA, both companies made the necessary changes, rather than facing the prospect of legal action (in exchange from anonymity).
Recently, the DRC launched an investigation into 1,000 websites, which found 80% were next to impossible for disabled people to use. They issued a stern warning that organisations will face legal action under the DDA and the threat of unlimited compensation payments if they failed to make the website accessible for people with disabilities.
Our testers work with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 standards to ensure your website or app is perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.
It’s the industry benchmark to make sure your website truly is accessible to all.
And it could highlight areas where your site is failing.
For example, you may need to provide text alternatives for the non-text content on your site, your content may need to be presented in different ways to make it easier to see and hear, all your functionality must be available from a keyboard and your text needs to be both readable and understandable.
It’s a lot to take on board.
And a lot of additional functionality to test.
Checking your site’s accessibility could slip down the priority list in favour of show-stopping bugs.
But you must conduct separate and comprehensive accessibility testing – and you don’t need to break the bank or miss your launch date.
At BugFinders, we can complete your accessibility tests in just a few days using our crowdsourced testing community.
That’s not all.
We only select accessibility-trained testers. These specialist testers will evaluate your website or app to identify accessibility issues and then feed these issues back to our Operations Centre.
These accessibility defects are re-tested and validated by our staff. We then rank them in order of severity.
So, when you get access to the BugFinders client portal, your developers can view these accessibility issues in order of priority and address them accordingly.
It’s not just fair for your users, you can be confident that you are providing an accessible and engaging user experience to every user on your site.
Because every user counts.