Fostering Accessibility as a Living Culture
By Noshay Matanga, Product Manager, Catalis Public Works & Citizen Engagement
In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, the guidance for creating accessible web content constantly evolves. Choosing a website provider goes beyond the initial implementation—it’s about fostering a cultural shift within your staff and your provider. It’s not merely about a one-and-done approach to accessibility; it’s a commitment to an ongoing journey. Find a website provider that doesn’t just offer accessible development during implementation but actively promotes a culture of accessibility, ensuring that your digital presence evolves alongside the dynamic changes in Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
The Importance of Keeping Content Accessible
Ensuring the accessibility of a platform is an ongoing process that requires attention to multiple factors. Even after initial implementation, certain factors may arise that can compromise accessibility. Some common issues that can make a previously accessible website inaccessible include:
Content Updates: Updated content, features, or changes to existing content may be introduced without considering accessibility standards, leading to potential barriers for users with disabilities.
Lack of Training: If content editors are not consistently trained or updated on accessibility best practices, they may unintentionally introduce elements that do not comply with accessibility standards.
Technology Updates: Updates to browsers, assistive technologies, or other web-related technologies may impact the functionality of certain accessibility features.
Legal and Compliance Changes: Evolving legal requirements and compliance standards may introduce new criteria or guidelines that the platform needs to adhere to, requiring updates to maintain accessibility.
User Feedback: Lack of a feedback mechanism or failure to address user-reported accessibility issues can result in the persistence of barriers for individuals with disabilities.
Things to Consider When Selecting a Web Development Partner
It is essential to choose a provider that not only provides accessible development during implementation but also encourages a culture of accessibility. Such a provider will ensure that your digital presence is continuously updated to meet the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). It is also important to look for a provider that empowers your content editors to create and maintain accessible content.
Your web development partner should have:
1. Accessibility Expertise:
Ensure the provider demonstrates an understanding of accessibility principles and compliance with WCAG standards.
2. Commitment to Ongoing Accessibility:
Look for evidence that the provider is not just focused on initial implementation but is dedicated to fostering an ongoing culture of accessibility.
3. Experience with Evolving Standards:
Check if the provider has experience adapting to changes in Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and staying updated with evolving standards.
4. User-Friendly Content Management System (CMS):
Assess the accessibility features of the provider’s CMS, as it directly impacts the ease of maintaining accessible content.
5. Training and Support for Clients:
Seek a provider that offers training and ongoing support for your content editors to ensure they can effectively maintain accessible content.
How Can Catalis Help?
At Catalis, our website developers, designers, and support teams are committed to cultivating a culture of accessibility from the initial implementation and beyond. From implementation, we provide a responsive web design with a user-friendly content management system and accessible development. Our support team offers personalized training for your content managers and accessible audits upon request to ensure your content stays accessible. Our accessibility development committee and product team work together to ensure that our platform continues to keep up with the latest WCAG recommendations.
Ready to ensure your content stays consistently accessible? Choose Catalis and empower your team with ongoing training for content managers and accessible audits to guarantee accessibility. If you’re ready to take the next step, contact our support team to request a personalized accessibility audit.
Visit catalisgov.com/solutions for a comprehensive list of our government/public sector solutions.