Understanding Site Accessibility: What It Is and Why It Exists

By Patrice Meadows — Thursday, March 8th, 2018 at 11:00am

Keyboard, laptop and other office items sitting on a desk with the blog post title displayed over it.

New rules governing site accessibility went into effect in January 2018. Many teams are still working to fully comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and those outlined in Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We’re committed to helping users launch and maintain quality sites which is why we offer helpful resources highlighting accessibility including a white paper, webinar, and now--this blog series.

For the next several weeks, we’ll take a closer look at site accessibility and explain how you and your team can create and maintain accessible websites. We will share tips, examples, and resources you can use to gain compliance. We’ll include extra info for Cascade CMS users to help them learn more about the tools and features we offer to manage site accessibility.

Let’s start by explaining the fundamentals of site accessibility.

What is site accessibility?

Site accessibility simply ensures that all people, regardless of ability, can use the features and elements on your website.

Q: What is site accessibility?
A:  Site accessibility ensures that all people, regardless of ability, can easily use the features and elements of websites.

According to the WCAG, site accessibility includes four distinct principles; perceivability, operability, understandability and robustness. In future posts, we’ll share more about each principle and how you can gain compliance. For now, let’s discuss why content accessibility is so important.

Why does site accessibility exist?

According to the National Service Inclusion project, nearly 48.9 million Americans has a disability, this means that a huge portion of your digital audience can be impacted by inaccessible elements. Finding ways to better serve them is not only good for them, it’s good for you (and your organization). Improving site accessibility can support search engine optimization, increase content clarity, and improve user experience. Planning for site accessibility is a great business move--and a mandate for colleges and universities receiving federal funds.

Why is site accessibility a priority for you? Share your reasons for increasing site accessibility below or tweet us @hannon_hill.

Don’t forget to come back next week to learn more about site perceivability. You can also subscribe to our blog to get the latest posts delivered automatically.

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