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Why It’s Easier to Succeed With Automated Accessibility Than You Might Think

In the world of web accessibility, the most typical challenge people face is finding an affordable and sustainable way to maintain compliance. Nobody wants to receive a demand letter every time they make changes to their website.
So, what’s the best way to ensure that you can focus on your business while staying entirely ADA/WCAG compliant? The answer is automated accessibility solutions.

What Is Automated Accessibility?

Automated accessibility is the state of maintaining WCAG compliance through the use of an automated web accessibility solution. Automated accessibility solution providers are usually able to combine automatic testing with a healthy dose of expert human assessment to ensure that your site remains ADA/WCAG compliant, even as you scale up or make day-to-day changes to the site.

Mitigating Challenges with WCAG Conformance

Admittedly, it is difficult for large, complex, and dynamic websites to ensure a site has no defects. Mitigation strategies may create a website that people with disabilities can use even though some conformance issues exist.

Scaling challenges can be mitigated in a variety of ways:

  • A page built with just a few templates that meet the requirements for structure, headings, and layout is much more likely to have clearly defined headings and format. 
  • When pages are limited to rendering only images whose ALT text is clearly defined, and these images are always used in similar contexts (e.g., a gallery), issues with poor ALT text can be minimized, if not eliminated. 

These approaches are practical interventions to help minimize accessibility problems in websites, but they cannot overcome all the challenges involved in conformance and testing. This is why it is essential to use automated web accessibility solutions.

Benefits Of Automated Web Accessibility Solutions

  1. Firstly, it is essential to mention that accessibility should be incorporated early in the production process. Early adoption will require an accessibility audit– a detailed report and a holistic view of your digital products’ accessibility. An automated solution can do this.
  2. Overlays can address visual accessibility issues on websites. You can use advanced overlays to add missing accessibility semantics to your website or application without having to touch its underlying code.
  3. You can use automated solutions when your organization needs to fix a critical accessibility error immediately. For instance, if you need to sell your product to organizations that need accessibility (such as the Federal Government), or in the event of a lawsuit.

Common Automated Accessibility Tools

Here is a list of some common web accessibility tools you can use in your development or authoring process.

1. Accessi

 

Accessi.org is a free innovative accessibility checker. It has an audit tool that provides graphical representations of accessibility errors in a website, making it one of a kind. It’s easy to use, and it’s free.

2. A11y

A free color contrast checker provided by the Bureau for Internet Accessibility. Websites are checked to make sure that their color contrast meets WCAG 2.0 level AA standards. There is no browser extension for it.

3. Google Chrome Accessibility Developer Tools

An easy-to-use free tool available in Google Chrome’s developer tools. It features 17 audit rules and a pane with debugging information.  

4. WAVE

An accessibility checker developed by WebAim. Several tools are available for assessing the accessibility of digital content. It addresses issues related to images, headings, labels, and color contrast. In addition, it has an API service and a browser extension. Online, it is simple to use by merely entering the URL.

   

5. Pa11y

This is an open-source tool. It has multiple great features, which are;

  • Pa11y – A command-line tool that is used to audit web pages 
  • Pa11y dashboard – A web dashboard that is targeted at non-developers. This dashboard automatically audits web pages for accessibility issues daily. It has graphs that track improvements and regressions over time.
  • Pa11y webservice – A JSON-based service that is targeted at developers. It can be used to build a personal dashboard-like front end or to repurpose data.
  • Pa11y Cl – Another tool for developers. It’s a command-line tool that iterates over a list of web pages and marks accessibility issues.

Closing Thoughts

With advances in technology, automated web accessibility solutions will fix accessibility errors faster and provide remediation with little need for human expert involvement. But for now, the best automated solutions to use are those that assure that human experts oversee the work done on your site.



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