With a Billion+ people with disabilities globally, inclusive technology is the need and conducting an accessibility audit is one step towards ensuring that!
An accessibility audit is a comprehensive evaluation of a website or application’s conformance with accessibility standards to meet the needs of people with disabilities.
The audit process usually involves:
- Performing manual and automated testing by Accessibility experts
- Conducting testing with people with disabilities
- Assessing the overall design and user experience of the site or the app
- Reviewing the code for potential accessibility issues
The accessibility audit help identify potential accessibility barriers and provide recommendations for how to make your site or app more accessible.
What are the common standards & guidelines that one can conform to?
When conducting an accessibility audit, there are a variety of standards & guidelines that can be used to measure conformance. The most common standards are:
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). WCAG 2.1 and 2.0 are the versions.
- EN 301 549 – This is the European standard that covers Accessibility for all ICT.
- Section 508 – Section 508 requires access to ICT developed, procured, maintained, or used by federal agencies.
Which technologies should you conduct an accessibility audit for?
The myth for a long time has been only for websites! But accessibility is needed for all web and non-web Information & Communication Technology (ICT). So time to think:
- Web Applications
- Mobile Apps
- SAAS Platforms
This list will keep evolving as we see digital technology evolving!
When should you conduct an accessibility audit?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when to do an accessibility audit.
The simple answer is start testing your solutions as early on in the process. Often accessibility is one of the last things that we check for and that is why it also feels like a lot of effort.
It is generally recommended that audits be conducted on a regular basis, prior to launch and then if there are significant updates. But it makes sense to set a regular cadence so that you keep investing the accessibility efforts.
At BarrierBreak, our accessibility consulting and digital accessibility services assist organizations to audit, maintain and strategize to ensure that accessibility is an on-going effort and not an afterthought.