Twenty years ago, the internet was a little-known space mostly relegated to tech-geeks only. Not so today. One needn’t venture far to find all types of people using the internet. In fact, much of the internet is considered a public space, and as with most public spaces, there is now an expectation for equal access.
According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), all web content should be perceivable, operable, understandable and robust. The W3C guidelines are an effort to establish accessibility standards that help all people easily navigate and contribute to the web. These internationally recognized guidelines aim to solve the majority of problems faced by web users. The guidelines are organized into three categories to signify increasing levels of user accessibility: Level A; level AA; and the highest level, AAA. Level AA has been benchmarked by many government agencies as an operational standard because it addresses the most common and problematic accessibility issues.
Compliance Now a Must for Enterprise
The W3C guidelines are an effort to endorse and ensure free and open internet for everyone. This encompasses a wide gamut of users, including those with special needs or other barriers to overcome. The implication for enterprise is that universal accessibility compliance is no longer optional, but instead has become a necessary milestone to achieve for all businesses that provide websites, mobile applications and any other digital offering for the public.
Plan to Test Early in the Development Lifecycle
Ensure an equitable and cohesive accessibility experience by testing early in the development lifecycle when it’s easier to catch and address issues. Accessibility requirements vary depending on the project and intended audience so plan to include accessibility into the overall build strategy and anticipate constraints like limited staff resources and budget.
Select the Best Tools and the Best Testers
Plan to equip all digital assets with assistive technologies like voice input, screen readers, alternative keyboards and screen magnifiers. Plan to use real people with special needs to test accessibility for more genuine, authentic and effective results.
Topcoder Offers State-of-the-Art Testing Capability
Topcoder, a leading on-demand talent platform, helps enterprise create revolutionary fixes for common accessibility problems. Topcoder provides unique access to a dedicated accessibility testing community to help enterprise clients avoid compliance issues as they build their products, or become accessibility compliant as needed. Topcoder has extensive experience running accessibility testing challenges and has access to a global community of testers well-versed in the technologies and the user experience that comprises a successful accessibility program. For more detail, check out Topcoder’s accessibility compliance check, its accessibility bug hunt, and its test for accessibility challenge. Topcoder works with enterprises to ensure that all websites, mobile applications and any other digital offering for the public meets compliance guidelines and is easy for all users to navigate.