Dear Santa: Digital Accessibility Wish List

Note book in the middle of Christmas decorations, says Wish List at the top with three bullet points

Around the holidays, we think a lot about what we want for ourselves, our companies, our loved ones, and even the world. We contemplate how to make the season and the end of the year shine bright with warmth and celebration and then we reset our expectations as the new year approaches with all of its possibilities. When we started thinking about what would make our Christmas dreams come true, our digital accessibility wish list practically wrote itself.

Our Digital Accessibility Wish List

When we think about it a little more, we realize that at the very top of our digital accessibility wish list is the hope for the things that we all wish for to align. We wish for people with all manner of abilities and disabilities to have access to all things digital. We wish for companies to be free from the burden of the concern and costs of ADA Compliance-related litigation. We wish for people who create and manage digital assets to confidently incorporate accessibility into all that they do. Our list is at the intersection of all those wishes.

A Few More Specific Wishes

Let’s face it though – wishes have a better chance of coming true when they are less general. Peace on earth is a tall order and might even be subjective. One person’s peace might be another person’s prison. We can get much more specific on the topic of digital accessibility.

Digital Accessibility Wish List For All Levels of Ability

  • Websites that are easy to navigate, whether by mouse, arrows, tab or touch. There’s a lot packed into this one. From structure to formatting, visual cues to screen reader readiness and user controls, this is a whopper of a wish. But it’s more than possible; it’s best practice. All it takes is awareness, education, practice and discipline to get it right and keep it on track. 
  • Digital documents that are formatted to help every reader access, read and understand the content. This takes structure, consistency and diligence. The good news is that the same elements that make websites accessible, like native formatting, clear structure, and alternative text cues for images also fulfill the off-website digital accessibility wish list.
  • Forms and multimedia that are functional and manageable for all. People going to an e-commerce website to make a purchase wish to be able to do just that. Unfortunately, many forms lack the cues and technical functionality to allow that if the customer cannot use a mouse. Videos are popular, but if the user can’t control the play, pause and stop functions, they are as likely to harm as help.

Digital Accessibility Wish List For Organizations

  • Ability to reach and serve any and all customers, employees and suppliers. According to the US Center for Disease Control, 1 in 4 adults have some type of disability. On top of that, governments around the world require compliance for all current and prospective suppliers. In a competitive marketplace and a tight labor market, failing to reach people in those proportions is a missed opportunity.
  • Digital assets that don’t put the organization at risk for ADA Title III lawsuits. The risk is real, and the trend continues to rise. You don’t have to look far to find examples like the recent Domino’s Pizza ruling. The cost of preventative remediation is minimal compared to the cost of litigation plus remediation. Our digital accessibility wish list is heavy with hope that organizations can get ahead of the curve.
  • Training and support to accomplish and maintain digital accessibility compliance. Digital accessibility assessment, development and remediation are not common areas of expertise. It’s easy to find partial or shell solutions. The problem is those solutions do not solve the problem. We wish for companies to recognize the need and choose their partners carefully to better serve customers and protect themselves.

Digital Accessibility Wish List For Developers

  • Knowledge of what to watch for and how to comply. It’s true for just about everyone – we just don’t know what we don’t know. Once you learn what to look for, you start asking more questions, catching issues before they get embedded, and building accessibility in from the start.
  • A head start to build in accessibility the right way from the beginning. Beyond knowing what to look for, developers with access to the right set of tools, resources, information, and support can work smarter and faster. They also can avoid much of the rework that can bog down the development process.
  • A trusted resource to monitor and maintain compliance. Anyone who works on websites knows that the work is never done. But monitoring for ongoing accessibility  compliance is often left to chance or spare time. Just like any other “non core” business service, accessibility review by specialists can be a game changer.

Do Wishes Come True?

Call us optimists, but we believe they do. The digital accessibility wish list above might be a bit much for Santa this season between all the toys, cookies and hot chocolate. We’ve got his back and yours. We also have endless spirit, and a song in our hearts. We hope your season is merry and bright. Please hum along, and enjoy the following musical summary of how we can help grant our wishes for you, and yours for digital accessibility. Cheers!

12 Gifts of an ilumino Christmas

On the first day of Christmas ilumino gave to me: training on accessibility.

On the second day of Christmas ilumino gave to me: two rounds of audit and training on accessibility.

On the third day of Christmas ilumino gave to me: three tools for testing, two rounds of audit, and training on accessibility.

On the fourth day of Christmas ilumino gave to me: four a11y consultants, three tools for testing, two rounds of audit, and training on accessibility.

On the fifth day of Christmas ilumino gave to me: five tips for WordPress, four a11y consultants, three tools for testing, two rounds of audit, and training on accessibility.

On the sixth day of Christmas ilumino gave to me: six product VPATs, five tips for WordPress, four a11y consultants, three tools for testing, two rounds of audit, and training on accessibility.

On the seventh day of Christmas ilumino gave to me: seven ways to fix code, six product VPATs, five tips for WordPress, four a11y consultants, three tools for testing, two rounds of audit, and training on accessibility.

On the eighth day of Christmas ilumino gave to me: eight inclusive websites, seven ways to fix code, six product VPATs, five tips for WordPress, four a11y experts, three tools for testing, two rounds of audit, and training on accessibility.

On the ninth day of Christmas ilumino gave to me: nine captioned videos, eight inclusive websites, seven ways to fix code, six product VPATs, five tips for WordPress, four a11y consultants, three tools for testing, two rounds of audit, and training on accessibility.

On the tenth day of Christmas ilumino gave to me: ten helpful checklists, nine captioned videos, eight inclusive websites, seven ways to fix code, six product VPATs, five tips for WordPress, four a11y consultants, three tools for testing, two rounds of audit, and training on accessibility.

On the eleventh day of Christmas ilumino gave to me: eleven training webinars, ten helpful checklists, nine captioned videos, eight inclusive websites, seven ways to fix code, six product VPATs, five tips for WordPress, four a11y consultants, three tools for testing, two rounds of audit, and training on accessibility.

On the twelfth day of Christmas ilumino gave to me: twelve months of compliance, eleven training webinars, ten helpful checklists, nine captioned videos, eight inclusive websites, seven ways to fix code, six product VPATs, five tips for WordPress, four a11y consultants, three tools for testing, two rounds of audit, and training on accessibility.

Allow us to provide your accessibility services for ongoing compliance all year! Merry Christmas from the ilumino team.

Join the A11y Community conversation on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and share your digital accessibility wish list!

Menu