A recent court decision against Dominos Pizza marked another big legal win for web accessibility, claiming once again that the Americans with Disabilities Act can be applied to websites and apps. This isn’t the first case like of its type, but it is a sobering reminder that organizations can be held responsible for creating web properties that are not accessible to all users. In other words, gone are the days where accessibility can be treated as an optional feature.
Accessibility must now be treated as a project requirement.
The easiest way to avoid this kind of legal situation is to adhere to a standard — the most common being the WCAG 2.0 standard, specifically the AA level. Hire an agency that understands this level of compliance (or better yet, provides some level of guarantee like a VPAT), selects tools that prioritize accessibility standards, and most importantly knows how to build and test for compliance on projects.
There are a number of tools (many free) that can score your project according to accessibility standards. Too often though, if these tools are used at all, they are used too little and/or too late in the process, after the project has been built and the budget spent. The best course of action is one that holds everyone accountable during the build process. This is why Four Kitchens recently took steps to ensure that accessibility testing happens during the build process on every new Drupal project. By default, this ensures the developer is notified if any custom piece of frontend code written does not meet WCAG 2.0 AA standards. This is not a silver bullet to guarantee a fully accessible product — conformance requires more than this kind of passive testing. But it is a major step in the right direction because it means obvious accessibility problems are surfaced immediately and can then be addressed with the same priority as any other bug in functionality.
If your project has already been built and you’re unsure of your compliance or you know it has accessibility problems, let Four Kitchens do an accessibility audit of your project. We can give you specific, detailed feedback on what issues exist and what steps need to be taken to address them.
For more accessibility resources, visit our Digital Accessibility guide.
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