WCAG 2.1 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1) is a set of guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to help make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. It provides recommendations for creating websites that are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust for all users. Here are some key points for businesses looking to ensure their website is accessible according to WCAG 2.1:
1. Perceivable: Ensure that users can perceive the information presented on your website.
- Provide alternative text (alt text) for images, so screen readers can describe them to visually impaired users.
- Use captions or transcripts for audio and video content.
- Ensure that color alone is not used to convey essential information.
2. Operable: Ensure that users can navigate and interact with your website effectively.
- Make all functionality available from a keyboard, as some users may not be able to use a mouse.
- Ensure that links and interactive elements have sufficient size and spacing to be easily clickable.
- Provide clear and consistent navigation throughout the website.
3. Understandable: Ensure that users can comprehend the content and functionality of your website.
- Use clear and concise language.
- Provide instructions and error messages that are easy to understand.
- Ensure form inputs have appropriate labels and placeholders.
4. Robust: Ensure that your website can be accessed by a wide range of user agents (browsers, assistive technologies, etc.).
- Use semantic HTML markup to enhance compatibility with different devices and assistive technologies.
- Ensure that your website degrades gracefully in older or less common browsers.
- Test your website on different platforms and assistive technologies to ensure compatibility.
To assist in evaluating and improving website accessibility, you can use the EqualWeb chrome extension. EqualWeb is an accessibility solution that integrates with your website to make it more accessible. It provides automated accessibility scans, identifies issues, and offers remediation solutions. It can help you address accessibility barriers and ensure your website complies with WCAG 2.1 guidelines.
Achieving full accessibility may require additional steps depending on the complexity of your website. Consulting with accessibility experts and conducting user testing with people with disabilities can provide valuable insights for making your website more inclusive and usable for all visitors.