Practical First Steps for Achieving Web Accessibility and Avoiding Liability (Session 9A)
Main Topic: Online Learning and Technology
Session Type: Skill Share
The path to accessible web content can be very overwhelming, especially for those who are starting this journey for the first time! This presentation will outline simple steps that lead to accessible content much quicker, with less frustration and immediately reduce liability risk exposure. This path can allow an organization to make progress toward accessibility in a proactive and productive way while avoiding the frustration of chasing after accessible content by always reacting after a complaint has been made. Valuable information can be gained from accessibility conference sessions. Unfortunately, for the individual who is new to accessibility and needs to act quickly, these sessions are often very specific and require an existing knowledge of accessibility. Rarely do these sessions cover a simplistic end to end approach that any organization can follow…especially an organization that is new to the concepts and guidelines surrounding accessible content. Those who have been assigned to attend an accessibility conference to learn “how to” make their web site accessible are all too often overwhelmed with the amount of information provided and leave the conference with more questions than answers and, unfortunately, more frustration and anxiety after the conference is over than before the conference began. This presentation is designed to present simple steps any organization can take to start down the path of accessible content and help bring their web properties into compliance with the applicable laws and regulations. These steps also outline the practical immediate action that can be taken to reduce the overall risk exposure to legal complaints. Following this path will allow an organization to focus their time and resources on remediating and maintaining accessible content rather than reactively chasing individual issues as they arise and failing to make any meaningful progress. Attendees will learn practical initial steps to immediately reduce web site liability by discussing:
- Developing an effective and useful web accessibility statement
- The user benefits of including a well-crafted accessibility statement
- The legal benefits of including as well-crafted accessibility statement
Attendees will further learn about developing a plan for an initial web accessibly audit by discussing:
- How to identify which web properties should be reviewed first
- How to balance manual and automated testing in an optimal way
- What role an automated scanning solution plays in the overall accessibility testing process
The goal of this session is to provide attendees enough information and understanding about how to initiate an accessibility review of their existing web properties while at the same time reducing exposure to legal complaints. They will also learn how to outline a logical approach that will help remove the confusion and anxiety often experienced by newcomers to the accessibility guidelines and concepts. This approach can then be applied to other web properties, new and old, to achieve consistent results. This structured and simple approach helps lay the basis to incorporating accessibility into an organization’s overall development and maintenance process instead of a onetime effort, thus making it part of their web content creation culture.
- Describe the benefits of including a well-crafted accessibility statement and how to develop an effective and useful accessibility statement to help minimize liability risk.
- Identify which web properties to reviewed first and balance manual and automated testing in an optimal way.
- List the steps and best practices to create a culture of accessibility and ensure the tools and skills are available to everyone involved to maximize the effort and success of creating and maintaining accessible content as a team.
Keywords: WCAG, ADA, Legal Risk, Liability, Web Accessibility, Accessibility, Section 508
Mr. Jeffrey SingletonConverge Accessibility LLC - Principal Senior Accessibility Consultant
Converge Accessibility LLC
Jeff Singleton is Co-Founder of Converge Accessibility. As a former member of Microsoft’s Accessible Technology Group, he has a keen understanding of accessibility standards and the impact accessibility issues have on individuals. Jeff has assisted companies like HP and Microsoft and government agencies like the VHA with their accessibility efforts. NASA has also trusted Jeff to perform accessibility reviews of the technologies used by its grantees. He regularly presents at accessibility conferences, such as CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, and the National ADA Symposium. Jeff holds the ADA Coordinator Title III Business Certificate and is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE).