Confirm Your Commitment to Accessibility
For businesses and organizations that need to communicate how they conform to legal accessibility requirements, including the revised 508 standards for IT accessibility, drafting and publishing an accessibility conformance statement is essential.
Depending on whether you receive funding from or sell software to government entities, generating a full VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) may also be an appropriate measure to take.
Equalize Digital can walk you through the necessary steps of assessing the current accessibility status of your website and drafting a clear, accurate, and compliant accessibility statement or VPAT.
- Ensure you’re in compliance with best practices and legal requirements.
- Position your organization as a champion of equal access to information for people of all abilities.
- Receive guidance on what language to include in public-facing accessibility statements.
Why Have an Accessibility Conformance Statement
Sharing your organization’s commitment to accessibility on your website or in proposals can strengthen your brand reputation and increase sales opportunities.
Let Your Customers Know How to Get Help
Linking to an accessibility statement in a visible place throughout your website allows people who may need extra assistance to easily find information about accessibility features built into the site and how to reach you if something is not working properly for their assistive technology.
Affirm Your Commitment to Accessibility
More than 1 billion people in the world and 1 in 4 U.S. adults have a disability. In a competitive digital landscape, taking a stand on accessibility can help your organization stand out and support your corporate social responsibility efforts.
Reduce Risk of Lawsuits
By clearly laying out your commitment to accessibility and describing the areas that you’re currently working to improve, your organization may reduce its risk of receiving a legal complaint about your website’s accessibility. Frequently, showing the effort that you’re putting into making your website accessible is enough to dissuade plaintiffs looking for easy targets.
Enhance Bids for Government Contracts
Many government agencies now look for accessibility conformance statements and, more specifically, VPAT’s when procuring IT, software, hardware, and electronic content. If you’re selling software solutions or responding to government RFPS, an official accessibility statement is a must.
Who Needs to Have an Accessibility Statement?
Depending upon your organization’s audience, industry, and funding sources, you might benefit from having a public accessibility statement. Our accessibility experts can craft an accessibility statement that is tailored to suit your needs. If your organization is in one of the industries below, we recommend having an accessibility statement visible on your website.
- Enterprise Businesses
- Higher Education
- K-12 Schools
- State and Federal Government Agencies
Having a public accessibility statement is a great way to show your organization’s commitment to digital accessibility and to provide a resource for people who might need additional assistance on your website. After a discussion with your stakeholders and key employees to determine your organization’s goals and brand voice, our copywriters draft an accessibility statement that you can place on your website.
- Clearly communicate your organization’s commitment to accessibility.
- Receive guidance on the type of information to include in a public accessibility statement.
- Supports WCAG 2.1 AA or AAA and Section 508 compliance
- A great addition to your website while remediation is in progress and you’re not yet fully compliant.
- Included in all of our Audit to CertificationTM packages.
Accessibility Conformance Certification
Equalize Digital certifies websites or applications as conforming with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) or Section 508 guidelines after performing an accessibility audit and remediating any identified problems. Our audits include automated scans, manual review by accessibility professionals, and user testing. Once a website is determined to follow all official recommendations, we’ll issue a certificate of conformance that can be published on your website.
- Supports WCAG 2.1 AA or AAA and Section 508 compliance.
- Full, detailed audit of every page of your website to determine compliance level.
- Remediation of any accessibility issues that may exist on your website on a timeline that fits your organization’s budget and goals.
- Website user testing with blind and visually impaired testers and multiple screen reading applications.
- Accessibility statement and certification statement for publishing on your website.
- Ongoing accessibility monitoring available.
This package is part of our Audit to Certification Process.
Accessibility Compliance Report & VPAT
After establishing the specific VPAT format (Section 508 or WCAG) best suited to your organization, our team will work with your stakeholders and key employees to prepare and execute a complete Accessibility Compliance Report (ACR). Our process includes phases for planning, surveying and information collection, verification and testing, and final report preparation and publication.
- Research and verification of VPAT and ACR format requirements as they apply to your organization.
- Survey and analysis of accessibility features present in your website or application.
- Testing & verification of all accessibility claims and documentation of limitations.
- Completion of VPAT document within standard parameters.
- Submission and publication of full Accessibility Compliance Report based upon the VPAT.
Accessibility Statements FAQs
Depending upon your organization’s audience, industry, and fund sources, your website may be required to be compliant with a number of laws or accessibility guidelines. Some of the most common standards include:
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Section 508
Our accessibility experts can help you identify which laws apply to your organization and craft a custom plan for ensuring that your website is 100% compliant now and on an ongoing basis.
WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines are developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with the goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that is accepted internationally.
WCAG documents explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities and address both information such as text, images, and sounds included in a website and also code or markup that defines the structure and presentation of the information on the website.
The current guidelines the current guidelines are at version 2.1, which was published on in June of 2018. WCAG 2.2 is scheduled to be published in early 2021.
WCAG guidelines are generally considered the standards to meet if you are concerned about fulfilling your obligations for accessibility under the ADA.
Section 508 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which bars the Federal government from procuring electronic and information technology goods and services (including website design) that are not fully accessible to those with disabilities.
VPAT stands for Voluntary Product Accessibility Template. A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template is a document that explains how information and communication technology products such as software, hardware, electronic content, and support documentation meet and conform to the Revised 508 Standards for IT accessibility. VPATs are used to draft an Accessibility Compliance Report.
Anyone can fill out a VPAT and the templates are publicly available, however, it is typically recommended that you have a trained accessibility professional complete this document for you to ensure that it is accurate and complete.
For businesses and organizations that need to communicate how they conform to common legal accessibility requirements, including the revised 508 standards for IT accessibility, drafting and publishing an accessibility conformance statement is essential. Depending on whether you receive funding from or provide contracting services to government entities, generating a full VPAT may be an appropriate measure to take.
In a competitive digital landscape, taking a stand on accessibility can help you stand out.
Yes. Our team has developed accessible websites and web applications and has provided accessibility consulting for large universities, government agencies, and enterprise-level clients.
Yes. We’re happy to provide accessibility audits and consulting to other marketing agencies and WordPress theme or plugin developers. We strongly believe in making the internet a more accessible place and love having the opportunity to review and provide recommendations to free and commercial themes and plugins.