With the demand and enforcement of digital accessibility rising, meeting ADA and WCAG compliance has become an ethical and legal necessity. But companies need a starting point, and numerous assistive tech tools can help. Accessibility checkers, for instance, are your best launching point because they evaluate your site and identify non-compliant areas that need fixing.
This blog explains how web accessibility checkers work, how they can mitigate legal complications, and how they can enhance your online sales and company bottom line. Let’s start with understanding what they do.
Web Accessibility Testers: How They Work
WCAG accessibility checkers help make your website usable for all end users, including people with various disabilities. They identify issues through quality assurance, test your website for WCAG and ADA compliance, and suggest potential solutions to remove accessibility barriers.
In most cases, you provide your website URL and details like your name, email address, and phone number. Next, your site is scanned, and you’re emailed a report detailing the issues that need remediating on your site.
But what about the legal ramifications? They’re potentially serious but also avoidable, as this next section explains.
Know the Law: Compliance Isn’t Just a Choice
Legal vulnerability concerning web accessibility is nothing to take lightly. Plaintiffs increasingly bring cases against companies of all sizes, and courts increasingly cite WCAG guidelines supporting these plaintiffs. The financial penalties resulting from these lawsuits can be damaging, regardless of the business size or model.
In 2022, more than 3,250 organizations were named in related lawsuits due to their websites not complying with WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards. This is a 12% uptick compared to 2021’s record of 2,895 cases. By conservative estimates, these complaints range from $10,000 to $25,000. And battling these lawsuits can rapidly lead to attorney fees exceeding $100,000.
But these legal pitfalls are avoidable if you learn and follow the most critical guidelines, which underscores the importance of using an accessibility checker that helps you conform to WCAG rules. Ultimately, you want your website compliant with the AA or AAA standards, which you can learn more about on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines website.
The report will break your results into three general categories: Urgent issues, Secondary issues, and Passed elements. This gives you an excellent starting point for what needs to be addressed first. Then, after you work your way down the list, you can focus on ensuring the new one you create meets the same standards. Once again, this option is free and a helpful way to learn how accessible your site is for visitors.
Next, we look at digital accessibility from a business perspective. What are the potential losses for inaction? Conversely, what can be gained from a proactive approach?
The Untapped Potential of Accessibility
So, we’ve established that digital accessibility is a critical legal strategy, but it also represents a massive business opportunity. More than 1 billion people worldwide have disabilities, including 61 million Americans. They come from all walks of life, contribute significantly to the retail economy, and aren’t shy about making their voices heard.
So, do you want to ostracize this essential demographic that controls $1.9 billion in disposable income? If you’ve read this far, you’re probably serious about finding a solution and know an opportunity when you see one. And you’ll be in good company. According to Forrester, more than 60% of organizations have an executive-led commitment to accessible products.
But let’s not lose sight of digital accessibility’s core principle: regardless of ability, everyone deserves equal access and usability concerning websites and digital devices. Just as people with disabilities deserve curb access and dedicated parking spots to physical locations, ignoring these issues will only thrust them further into the public spotlight. Modern consumers expect companies to prioritize inclusivity. They’re committed to their ideals and have no qualms about criticizing organizations across social media outlets and review sites.
That’s a brand image nightmare no company wants to endure, but a proactive approach can make all the difference. It all starts with checking your site for accessibility violations.
The Power to Change Starts with an Accessibility Checker
We also don’t want to lose sight of your preventative powers, and that all starts with a website accessibility checker. You can’t fix problems unless you know they exist. And this powerful and essential tool helps you assess thousands of website pages, identify recurring accessibility issues, and pinpoint what needs remediation first.
It’s the first step in an ongoing journey for greater inclusivity and reliable compliance. And using a third-party accessibility checker is far more cost-effective than an in-house manual approach. Moreover, relying on a company whose core competency is digital accessibility provides invaluable expertise and guidance.
Learn how UserWay can be your expert guide.
UserWay: Digital Accessibility from A to Z
From accessibility testing to a complete framework of AI-powered tools, UserWay is with you every step of the way. Start with a one-on-one consultation today.
Answers to Common FAQs
Why Are Accessibility Checkers Crucial?
Because they help every end user, regardless of ability level, access and use websites, apps, and digital devices. Doing this, they also help support inclusivity, mitigate possible legal complications, and enhance business performance.
What are the Two Primary Accessibility Test Categories?
- Manual testing, which is usually conducted by an in-house dev team.
- Automated testing, which is done by a third-party assistive tech tool.
What are the Main Elements of Accessibility Testing?
- Semi-automated accessibility checkers.
- Structural inspectors.
- Screening and using end-user assistive technology.
- Detailed inspection: Perceivability. Operability. Understandability. Robustness.