Website accessibility services are growing in demand across all industries. More and more companies are looking to agencies to help them reach a certain level of compliance. As a website design agency, we were able to recognize this need early on and adapt our web processes accordingly. As a result, we’re able to offer specialized services for accessibility including accessible websites, accessibility audits, and ADA compliance services.
What Is Web Accessibility And Why Is It Important?
The internet is always evolving and with that evolution emerges new concepts and web practices that are geared towards making our lives better. One of those new emerging practices is web accessibility. Web accessibility is the ability for everyone to access websites, tools, and technologies – specifically in relation to people with disabilities.
According to a recent census, there are around 1 billion people with disabilities in the United States. Some of these disabilities make consuming specific digital content more difficult and may require these people to use assistive technologies in their everyday life. As a result, an organization was formed called the World Wide Web Consortium who came together to formulate a guiding set of principles and rules for web accessibility. These guiding principles help set a standard for access to ensure that people with disabilities are able to consume web content and use digital tools.
Aside from being a decent human thing to do, making your site accessible also has other functional benefits such as:
- Better SEO performance
- Improved website usability
- Support for the elderly population which happens to be the fastest growing and most affluent online user base
- Reduced risk of legal action for non-compliance
In summary, web accessibility is an important digital practice that can no longer be ignored. Everyone deserves equal access and it all starts with making sure your site is accessible to all.
Our Accessibility Services
At Matchbox Design Group, we believe that everyone should have equal access to technology. It’s this belief that has driven our accessibility efforts and has shaped us into leaders in the field. It’s more than just a passion, it’s a core belief. With that being said, we offer a few different accessibility services that can be customized to fit your needs. Whether you’re looking to create a brand new accessible website or are simply wanting someone to comb through your existing site to uncover issues, we can help with both.
Ideally, our number one recommendation is to develop a new website with accessibility in mind. This option would allow us to more easily integrate different components of accessibility into each part of your website including the design, layout, content, and functionality. We’re also able to meet a higher level of compliance since we wouldn’t be blocked by any design or technical restrictions of an existing template.
Things We Do
- Design site templates with an emphasis on color contrast, logical heading order, and configurable repeated elements
- Code the templates to ensure pages are usable by a variety of input and output devices, such as keyboard navigation and screen readers
- Ensure that all non-textual elements have a text equivalent (such as “alt text” for images or transcripts for videos)
We realize that a brand new website is not always a feasible option for everyone. In that case, we offer accessibility audits and integration services to help ensure that your current site is following proper accessibility guidelines. We’ll crawl through your existing site to diagnose any issues you’re up against. This includes both visual and functional tests to help assess your current level of compliance. Once we’ve made a full assessment, we’ll then report those findings to you and suggest moving forward with our ADA compliance services.
Things We Do
- Assessment of W3C level – A, AA and AAA
- Cross-device testing (mobile, tablet & desktop)
- Presentation of findings in a report format
- Follow up consultancy
During your accessibility audit presentation, we’ll provide recommendations for how to improve your level of compliance. Once you’ve completed your audit, we will encourage you to move forward with ADA compliance services so that we can act on the recommendations we’ve provided. It’s a lot more efficient for us to dive in and make those changes right after we’ve dug into your site during the audit. We’ll already be familiar with the interface and therefore will know exactly what changes need to be made and how to implement those changes. As guiding principles, we use the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. Our goal is for a client’s website to meet Level AA standards.
Things We Do
- Design fixes – contrast, heading size & hierarchy, layout, etc.
- Technical fixes – code review, functionality improvements, site structure, alt text, etc.
- Improve responsiveness across all devices and ensure readability for input and output devices such as screen readers and keyboard navigation
- Verification testing to ensure that you’ve met your compliance goals
We Can Help With St. Louis Accessibility Audits!
Making the internet a more accessible place starts with you! We’d love to work together, if you are based in St. Louis or anywhere else in the United States, and help guide you through the process of creating an accessible website. If you’re still not entirely sold on the idea or simply want more information about our accessibility services, don’t hesitate to reach out. As we said, we’re here to help!