How to be Proactive with Accessibility

Most likely very few, if any, websites are built to be WCAG compliant when they are first created. If they are edited/updated at any point then they will require ongoing reviews and updates to maintain compliance as well.
Being proactive with your website’s compliance simply means to have a plan that is adjustable depending on how large your site is and how often it is updated. If your website is adjusted every few months then you most likely don’t need audit it’s accessibility as often as a site that’s edited every day.

Initial compliance is the first step

Initial compliance takes the most amount of time for most websites… the more pages, the more time. Initial compliance is very important as it will potentially eliminate a huge percentage of the compliance issues and address what pages need the most attention moving forward.

Ongoing compliance is the long game

If your site is continually edited/updated, like most are, then you need to think of compliance as a marathon and not a sprint. Every change to a page, image or document uploaded, menu item added, and form created have potential to create compliance problems.
Build a strategy of how those will be monitored, caught, reported and fixed. Monitoring can often been automated for most changes done to sites, though if not plan is in place they will go unchecked.

Legal mitigation (showing due diligence)

Being proactive shows due diligence and helps mitigate legal risk. I’m not a legal professional either, but providing a plan to address accessibility problems proves effort is being done.
One thing I highly recommend is to create an Accessibility page on your website. An Accessibility page should declare your dedication to make your site accessible while also providing a form for users to report accessibility issues.
I would consider that a proactive step… how about you?

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