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Website Accessibility Principle #4: Robust

Website Design
woman who is hearing impaired looking at her computer

Several weeks ago, in our continued exploration of web accessibility best practices, we shared an overview of the understandable principle. Today, in part four of our series, we’re exploring the final principle of the WCAG 2.0: robust.

*It’s important to note that when we discuss those with auditory or visual disabilities throughout this series, we are not only speaking of those with the most commonly known disabilities, such as deafness and blindness. Other auditory and visual disabilities include colorblindness, and partial hearing and vision loss. Other factors that may impact one’s ability to access content on your website may include reading disabilities, a language barrier, a slow internet connection and limited access to small screens on handheld devices.

The list below is not intended to be an all-inclusive guide for website developers. Instead, it simply explores how some common website elements can be modified for greater accessibility.

Principle 4: Robust

The fourth principle of the WCAG 2.0, which has emerged as the leading set of standards for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), calls for all site content to be ”robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.” Website content should function as intended and be compatible with browsers, agents and assistive technologies that people with disabilities use to navigate through a site. Below are the guidelines that website developers and designers should keep in mind when creating an accessible website.

Guideline 4.1: Compatible

Under this guideline, website developers should “maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.”

Website content should be operable with and work seamlessly with current and future browsers and assistive technologies to create a positive user experience.

Website Considerations

  1. Assistive technology users should be alerted when new status messages appear on a webpage. For example, when a user submits a contact form on a website, text should appear on the page that reads, “Thank you for your submission.” For those with visual impairments, a screen reader should read this message aloud.
  2. Regular website checkups should be made to ensure your code is up to date with the newest assistive technologies and browsers. If there is broken code on a webpage, this will impede on the functionality of assistive technologies.

You can check your website’s accessibility here.

Zola Creative’s team of website design experts is well-versed in WCAG 2.0 success criteria. We offer compliant websites for law firms and legal organizations around the country that wish to deliver a better user experience and increase their target audience.

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