“Are we WCAG compliant?” 

“When did we last conduct an audit?” 

“Who is responsible for accessibility?”

If any of these sound familiar, then it’s very likely that you’re not delivering responsible accessibility.

Over the past decade, a transformational culture shift has empowered us to take a closer look at social justice, inclusivity, and how to right the wrongs of the past. The internet has played a pivotal role in ensuring that the voices of these movements are heard… but this same digital playing field must be held accountable for inclusivity.

Companies can head this movement for digital accessibility by creating an ongoing and responsible testing strategy for accessibility and inclusivity. 

Digital accessibility is not a one-time activity

You’ll stay compliant as long as your SDLC comes to an immediate halt. And you never release another feature or update your product suite again. That’s the big catch with measuring compliance via one-time audits: the moment your next sprint ends, your new features roll into production, or the browser/OS that contains your product has an update, you may shift into non-compliance.

So, how do you forge a practice that ensures your digital properties remain accessibility compliant and continue to do so with every release? 

From physical to digital accessibility

Since 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has required all public-facing physical entities to be readily accessible to people with disabilities. Existing structures must be compliant, and any change made to the physical design of the customer-facing business needs to account for all consumers, both able-bodied and disabled. 

Imagine if your local restaurant renovated and went from having a wheelchair-friendly entrance to one that excluded wheelchair customers altogether. Thankfully this is a difficult image to comprehend, but undoubtedly, the business would face legal action, and its subsequent brand, revenue, reputation, and identity would inevitably decline.

Embrace responsible accessibility

A vital part of this methodology ensures your test cases are designed to meet the WCAG POUR (Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust) standards so that every regression covers these requirements. In essence, you have assumed responsibility for ensuring consumers from all walks of life have access to your product suite and services.

Director of Client Services at Testlio. Technology Lead with >15 years experience in customer success, solution delivery, sales engineering, and product development. Passionate about process optimization, centralized technology, and all things digital.