Inclusion is something that has been at the forefront of business and social conversations for years. Businesses have become accustomed to rules that have been initiated to establish an order of fairness; a common set of regulations to ensure equal participation in the physical and virtual commercial environments. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was established decades ago in order to remove physical impediments to those who were unable to access commercial businesses and public transportation. Since it was enacted, much progress has been achieved in the effort to reach the goals of equal access. It is fair to say that few people or businesses have any questions as to ADA compliance. However, the virtual world continues to struggle with understanding and complying with accessibility guidelines that apply to the virtual and digital marketing world.
Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 is a set of standards for online and mobile content developed by technology and accessibility experts to fully address the barriers experienced by the disabled when frequenting the internet. As consumers and users continue to access commerce and information from the internet, non-compliance issues become increasingly important to a significant portion of society. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that 61 million adults in the U.S. live with some form of disability such as; deafness, blindness, learning disabilities, behavioral disabilities, and injuries that restrict mobility. WCAG 2.1 standards focus on whether a website is perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust for all users. Why is it important for an e-commerce business to comply?
Ensuring an accessible website experience is critical for those with certain disabilities and who are unable to interact with traditional digital technologies. Inclusion is important to any business that is looking to expand the consumer base and improve the brand’s reputation and value. In addition, there are compliance mandates built into the regulations that threaten significant financial penalties on organizations that fail to meet the ADA’s goals and objectives. While compliance may appear daunting, there are automation technologies and professional web developers that can help. On average, more than 60% of web pages contain accessibility issues that need to be resolved.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are at the core of automation software that promises to make the process of compliance simpler. However, experience reveals that these tools often require human intervention to be fully effective. The technology does not yet exist that can replace the human factor in building and testing protocols that assure compliance. Using automation methods alone has shown to be an ineffective defense when organizations are cited in court for non-compliance.
A recent 2020 report revealed that more than 98% of website homepages had detectable WCAG 2.1 failures. Most websites were not designed to comply with the new regulations, so unless a website was recently updated or designed and built to enable accessibility, it is unlikely to meet the mandated criteria. Clearly, there is much remaining to do.
Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) can quickly adapt any current website and provide certification of compliance without sacrificing great design. Junction’s solution allows experienced web developers to utilize the latest artificial intelligence and machine-based learning tools. “Our system is fully customizable, from colors, sizes, and icons to positioning. We align the solution to meet our clients’ brand requirements so that the experience is seamless for all users, regardless of disability or limitations,” says Julie Gareleck, Junction Founder and CEO. With 24×7, 365 days per year monitoring, the solution provides WCAG 2.1, ADA, Section 508, and EN 301549 compliance and ensures that clients’ websites stay certified and up-to-date. Call 678-686-1125 today for more details.