Creating A Website Accessibility Statement

An easy place to start in web accessibility is by creating a Website Accessibility Statement to start creating a more accessible web.

Published: May 29, 2024

One of the hottest topics in web development is the pressure to make your website comply with accessibility guidelines. Let’s break down why this is important and a great place to start through providing a website Accessibility Statement. Believe it or not, this is one of the easiest things you can do to start down the path of making a more accessible web.

Why is Accessibility so Important in Website Design?

Laws around accessibility are becoming more and more important. In the spring of 2024 the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) published a ruling on strengthening web access for people with disabilities. This ruling sets new guidelines for state and local government websites to require accessibility standards set by WCAG. This ruling is the most recent but also most significant for U.S. laws around web accessibility and although private companies are not subject to this specific ruling, the groundwork has been set and it is clear that accessibility will only continue to become more important.

Serious consequences for non-compliance

Failing to comply with the standards set out by WCAG can have serious consequences. The DOJ ruling currently does not specify fines, however, the risk of legal action is significant. Lawsuits are becoming more common under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and neglecting web accessibility can not only bring significant legal costs but also tarnish the brand of an organization and alienate a part of your target audience. Here are a few reasons why non-compliance can have serious consequences:

  1. Significant legal fees from lawsuits
  2. Potential damages brough from lawsuits
  3. Tarnishing your brands reputation
  4. Alienating part of your audience
  5. Loss of funding or certifications
website accessibility sample

View an example of a Website Accessibility Statement

An easy place to start improving your web accessibility

If the above has scared you, there is good news ahead. Although the path to full web compliance from WCAG 2.1 AA standards can be a tricky one, there is an easy place to start. Creating a Website Accessibility Statement is a significant leap into improving your accessibility. Below we will break down what it is, why is is important, where it goes on your site, and what should be on it.

What is a Web Accessibility Statement?

An Accessibility Statement is a single page on your website that highlights the accommodations you are making to people with disabilities that are using your site. This provides a transparent way for organizations to communicate with anyone with a disability trying to navigate the content on your website. It is important to not that an Accessibility Statement is not considered a legal document like a Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, Cookie Consent, or other disclaimers. An Accessibility Statement is also not required by law.

So Why is an Accessibility Statement so Important?

An Accessibility Statement can protect against lawsuits. One of the items on a statement is a way to contact the organization about accessibility issues. By providing this you are allowing for users to notify an organization of issues prior to bringing a potential lawsuit. In addition, creating an Accessibility Statement provides a commitment to users that your organization cares about accessibility.

What is on an Accessibility Statement?

  1. A declaration of the organization’s commitment to providing an accessible experience for all users.
  2. Your current accessibility status – what standards you have and are trying to achieve. ‘
  3. How to contact the organization if users experience issues with your content
  4. Resources for users with disabilities

Where does a web Accessibility Statement go on a website?

It is recommended that the web Accessibility Statement goes in the global footer of all pages in your website. It is most commonly seen next to your Privacy Policy and Terms of Use or other legal pages. See an example of a Website Accessibility Statement

Ready To Add A Website Accessibility Statement To Your Website?

Our Greater Boston Area web team is ready to help organizations take the first step towards improving their accessibility through adding a website Accessibility Statement to their site. It is as easy as contacting us and telling us about your website and organization background. From their we can schedule a call with a team member of our Boston, MA based web design and development team to discuss accessibility and maintaining WordPress websites.

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