By Jason Taylor, Chief Innovation Strategist and Special Advisor to the CEO
Despite the growing population of people with disabilities, the majority of transactional websites are still not fully accessible to them. Many websites’ lacking usability and accessibility can turn a simple task (that would take non-disabled users mere seconds to complete) into a frustrating half-hour ordeal – or worse – for users with disabilities. These users represent a significant business opportunity for brands, yet over 70% of users with disabilities are forced to abandon websites that are not navigable using assistive technology.
The Roadblocks to Seamlessly Implemented Accessibility Strategies
Companies with complicated websites, especially those that are looking to constantly improve them to drive revenue and conversion, find it hard to integrate accessibility into their digital strategies in a way that is efficient, manageable, cost-effective and that does not compromise the visual integrity of their site design. For many businesses, making large amounts of pre-existing content accessible is a daunting task, especially when paired with a lack of resources or expertise to help guide, plan and execute the right strategy. Moreover, agile development also means faster release cycles and more testing to ensure accessibility with each new improvement, update and adjustment to a site.
Ultimately, all companies have a responsibility to ensure their online services are available to users of all abilities, but do not all know where to start or how to get it right.
'Dynamic, Accessible Views' as a Means to Seamlessly Implementing Accessibility
The W3C recognizes that not all web applications and content sites are easily made accessible, and that maintaining compliance can be even more challenging. The more dynamic and complicated an interface is, the harder it is to conform that interface to be accessible to all users. This is where Dynamic, Accessible Views (DAV) come in.
A Dynamic, Accessible View of a site can be used to provide a fast and effective alternative to the original site for users with disabilities. In the same way a mobile view gives a user access to the same functionality as a desktop site, but in a view optimized for that user, a DAV can be optimized with the assistive user in mind.
First, the web site view is dynamic. This means as the content and features of the original web site are updated, it is automatically reflected in the accessible view. The same site, for all users, at all times.
Secondly, the view is made conforming and fully accessible by accessibility developers, solely focused on the needs of assistive users. Once implemented, WCAG 2.0 AA compliance is maintained in the view on-going.
Why UsableNet Assistive?
UsableNet Assistive creates Dynamic, Accessible Views of client websites to support users from all major disability groups. Provided as a fully-managed service, UsableNet's accessibility developers do the work to ensure the website conforms to WCAG 2.0 AA standards, on-going, so clients don't have to.
The convenience, ease of use and speed to market of UsableNet Assistive allow our clients to shift their focus away from the complexity of implementing accessibility on complicated, ever-changing interfaces, so they can remain focused on digital innovation, while knowing they support users of all abilities.
For more information about our unique solution, visit our UsableNet Assistive page or contact us at email@example.com for a free consultation on how we can jumpstart your accessibility strategy.
Jason Taylor is the Chief Innovation Strategist and Special Advisor to the Usablenet CEO with over 20 years of technology, usability and accessibility experience. He is a global technology thought leader for multichannel customer engagement, actively advising leading companies on how to extend their brands across multiple channels for all users.