Web Content Accessibility Guidlines (WCAG) 2.1 Compliance

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are focused on making the Internet more accessible for users with disabilities such as poor vision or hearing. To that aim there are organisations such as W3.org who set the standard for what a website should have in order to meet the needs of as many people as possible. WCAG 2.1 is an internationally recognised standard used by Governments including the UK Government.

Here is our explanation of what this means at a human level, a business level and what you can do to get compliant.

At a human level

Broadly speaking, WCAG 2.1 compliance is all about making the internet a better place for those with disabilities and impairments such as poor vision.

Consider these two images:

image50135466 10 year old girl riding a bike looking excited and slightly tentative

If you can’t tell the difference between the two, that’s because they look the same. But not everybody can see images and they use a screen-reader to read out the content on a page. Let’s look at the same images as a visually impaired person would experience them:

10 year old girl riding a bike looking excited and slightly tentative

Someone with a visual impairment will receive these empty image icons and the ‘alt text’ which is then read aloud to them with a screen reader. By providing descriptive text as an alternative for an image you allow those with disabilities to visualise the image, even though they cannot see it.

At a Business Level

WCAG 2.1 is now the Government standard for accessibility on a website. Having a WCAG 2.1 compliant site means you also meet AA accessibility requirements which is a high standard in the public sector. It is a legal requirement to have WCAG 2.1 on any public sector website. It is also highly recommended for the private sector.

One of the key benefits of having a compliant site is that it improves the site’s Search Engine Ranking significantly.

Search engines like Google rank your site content, how it looks and how compliant it is. Can you guess what happens when Google search has to choose between a site that everyone can see and one that some can’t?

Yes, it chooses the accessible version for everyone. This is because the accessible version shows that the site is well made and maintained by professionals who care about their site staying current, so it is more likely to be what the user wants, no matter their ability.

To meet these requirements involves visual aspects such as ensuring there is enough contrast between text and the background, content consideration such as writing in short sentences and also structural aspects like making sure navigation follows a semantic structure and is repeated on pages.

How we can help

Many of the items needed to make a non-compliant site compliant require a web professional to do. When you request a quote from SCL we will carry out a basic scan and audit the site based on WCAG2.1 criteria and current UK legislation; See –  https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/852/contents

We will then get in touch with you to inform you if (and if not, how to) you comply with the law, what your accessibility score is and what to do to move forward.

Then we will either give an estimate of the cost or if we need more information provide a guide price

Please complete the form below for a free audit and estimate:

At the time of publishing (May 2022) this is the audit result for scl.co.uk

Accessibility audit result for SCL website

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