What is Website Accessibility?

Everyone should be able to use your website effectively. 

What is web accessibility?

Web accessibility is a set of rules, behaviors, code standards, and design guidelines that are used to enable people with disabilities, which comprise 20% of the world’s population, to use websites effectively.​​​​​​​​​​​​

Why is it important that my website is accessible?

  • Everyone, with and without disabilities, should be able to enjoy what your website has to offer.
  • An accessible website will widen your available target audience opening new revenue opportunities.
  • The United States has legislation in place that requires businesses to have accessible websites.
  • Organizations that work to make their website accessible are mitigating the risk of costly lawsuits.
  • Many of the attributes included in the guidelines for accessibility will also increase your website's visibility in the search rankings.

What is the web accessibility legislation? 

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990, and it’s America’s most important law regarding accessibility and civil rights for people with disabilities, including web accessibility. Website accessibility is defined by the requirements laid out by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To determine whether a website is accessible, a checklist called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, or WCAG, is used. The purpose of this checklist is to make sure that someone with a disability, like limited sight or hearing, can experience all elements of your website. 

How does legislation  impact my website?

In 2018, the DOJ clarified that websites are considered places of public accommodation and should therefore comply with the ADA Title III. This means that inaccessible websites are at risk of litigation. Since then, web accessibility lawsuits have increased in almost every industry, targeting businesses of all sizes. Lawsuit numbers are estimated to continue to increase as the need to enable accessible digital experiences becomes more prominent.

Did you know...

  • There has been a 300% increase in website accessibility lawsuits since 2018
  • 98% of all websites on the web are inaccessible
  • 20% of the population has a disability

What can I do to make sure my website is accessible?

Learn more about our website compliance solution.
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A few more definitions

Below are a few more definitions that are useful to know about when making sure your website is accessible to everyone.

What is ADA?

ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was signed into law by President George Bush in 1990, and it’s America’s most important law regarding accessibility and civil rights for people with disabilities, including web accessibility. 

What is WCAG?

WCAG stands for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. They are the most important guidelines for web accessibility policy and set the standard for web accessibility legislation in most countries around the world. 

What is Section 508?

In the early 1970s, American lawmakers started to become more aware of the need for legislation that requires the accommodation of citizens with disabilities. The first piece of law was the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Later, in 1998, the Rehabilitation Act was amended to address technology and accessibility. This is Section 508. In March 2017, the U.S. Access Board published a final update for Section 508’s accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT).

What are ARIA-Attributes?

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) is a set of attributes that define ways to make web content and web applications (especially those developed with JavaScript) more accessible to people with disabilities.

What is Alt Text?​​​​​​​

Alt text (alternative text), also known as "alt attributes," “alt descriptions," or technically incorrectly as "alt tags,” are used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page.
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Do you think creating a compliant website seems complicated?

We can help you with questions and concerns to get started!