Social Ink Statement on ADA and Accessibility: Best Practices
Accessibility guides all of our work—including our custom build of your site—and we make sure we accommodate all kinds of audiences, including older and/or visually impaired users.
We take guidance from two different standards: Providing access for those with disabilities, per Federal ADA guidelines, and more open source W3 Accessibility standards.
Practically speaking, this means we develop sites to work with and without graphical elements and make it easy for people on different devices and browsers, including electronic screen readers, to use your site.
Although a final, iron clad minimum for accessibility is still not legally set as of late 2019, generally speaking the Department of Justice has maintained that WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA standards are the good minimum to aim for (including the federal government’s own websites) to avoid any technical challenges or legal challenges to your organization.
Our WordPress sites come with built in code to indicate fundamental page section divisions that clearly indicate parts of the site (such as the header, main content section, and footer) and feature other accessibility standards like:
- ALT text for images and long text descriptions when possible;
- Semantic Markup to indicate cascading content headers (h1, h2, h3) and their attendant sections;
- Mobile and device/browser agnostic design using Cascading Style Sheets to present information;
- Avoiding problematic elements like popups and iframes when possible;
- Avoiding using specific data layouts for presentational layers, like using a table to present non-tabular data;
- Differentiating content-specific inline images vs. background images;
- Using live-text rather than text built into images;
- Accessible form element markup, such as using label and grouping controls correctly, and avoiding non-browser input elements;
Important notes on Building Your Site
Social Ink makes every good faith effort to build and maintain sites in WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA as part of our base work – any recommended changes or questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org where someone will respond immediately to any queries.
Depending on your site’s functionality, certain features may not be fully accessible, such as image galleries, maps, and more. These kinds of infographics and media heavy displays do not always translate easy to accessibility standards. We make every attempt to provide alternative information for these media features, but depending on client needs and wants around design and UI, as well as feasibility within the project scope, these may not be included in the final site.
In the same way that we build a flexible, customized Content Management System so that you can manage your own content down the road, we create an accessible framework which will require baseline maintenance as you manage your site over time. As you enter your content, make sure to use semantic markup for different type of copy (eg. header 2, header 3, header 4, etc), and when adding images, be sure to fill out the image title and “alt text” field to ensure accessible content.
Last Updated: December 2019.