Building your organization’s capacity
A web accessibility audit is not an aim in itself. It is a tool to make your website more accessible and to improve your organization’s capacity to operate an accessible website. These are the outcomes that really matter when you do a website audit. Use the auditing process to increase capacity within your organization around web accessibility. Commissioning a website accessibility audit is an opportunity to not only up-skill staff on the technical issues involved in web accessibility but also to raise their awareness of how people with disabilities use the web. This will lead to a deeper understanding of the issues involved in web accessibility. This increased awareness and capacity will also help to ensure that future developments on the website will result in more accessibility. The preferred approach to web accessibility auditing is to buy in outside expertise. This approach has some strong advantages, such as:
- access to specialist expertise in web accessibility;
- an independent, external point of view;
- status of report enhanced by external, expert viewpoint.
Self-audit alone is not recommended unless your organization is large enough to provide skilled staff who have not been involved in operating the website and can maintain full objectivity in looking at it. Self-audit is most useful as new content is being published to the website. It may not be practical to have new content audited externally on an on-going basis. Staff with responsibility for ensuring the accessibility of new content being published to the website should receive training in web accessibility and have access to appropriate tools and expert advice as required.
Automated auditing tools
Software can be very useful in testing website accessibility, but only up to a point. Most WCAG requirements cannot be verified by software alone. There are a number of underlying problems associated with using just automated tools to test for accessibility. Generally speaking, automated accessibility testing tools are very limited in being able to uncover real problems. They can’t adequately check for the majority of accessibility guidelines and can sometimes report problems that aren’t actually problems. The only real benefit of using an automated testing tool is to get a top level feel of how accessible (or inaccessible) your website is. In terms of getting real recommendations for fixing real problems, an accessibility audit is the approach to take. Automated auditing tools are best used by experts who can interpret their results accurately. In particular, auditors need to be able to quickly identify false positive and false negative results from the tools.
“We have been working with Accessibility Services Canada for several years as part of our process to maintain our corporate website in compliance with the AODA. We have appreciated their vast expertise, keen eye for detail, and clear, comprehensive explanations during our annual website accessibility audits. Their guidance has been instrumental in ensuring our website and PDFs are accessible and user-friendly. Many of our staff have also attended their training courses, which are always well-run and informative.”
Get A Website Accessibility Audit
Accessibility Services Canada offers four types of audits to match your web strategy needs and budget.
- Starter Website Accessibility Audit
This audit evaluates your website against the top recommendations of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) for website design and development to help meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) requirements. Remediation suggestions will be offered.
Outcome: The Starter Audit highlights the best ways to greatly improve the accessibility of your site, giving you a good overview of the types of accessibility barriers present and what areas need improvement.
- Small Website Accessibility Audit
This audit evaluates the site template and three (3) pages, representative of various types of web content, against WCAG 2.0 A and AA criteria. Remediation suggestions will be offered on how to fix identified issues.
Outcome: The Small Website Audit allows for organizing site-wide improvements, with a focus on fixing the website template. It also supports beginning to address some of the general content accessibility issues.
- Large Website Accessibility Audit
This audit evaluates the site template and thirteen (13) pages, representative of various types of web content, against WCAG 2.0 A and AA criteria. Remediation suggestions will be offered for how to fix identified issues.
Outcome: The Large Website Audit supports efforts in thoroughly fixing website accessibility issues both in the site template and throughout the content. Detailed remediation suggestions will provide a solid basis for reaching WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.
- PDF Accessibility Audit
This audit evaluates up to three (3) different PDFs against WCAG 2.0 A and AA criteria and offers suggestions on how to fixed identified issues
Outcome: The PDF Audit assists in ensuring that documents on your website are made accessible and compliant with the requirements of the AODA.
If you would like a free website accessibility audit quotes email us your website address and we’d be happy to send you a a detailed proposal.
- Starter Website Accessibility Audit