Searching for an accessibility statement template for your website? While website accessibility is finally gaining recognition as a crucial aspect of digital design, it’s disheartening to see many website designers jumping on the bandwagon and falsely claiming their websites meet the WCAG standards. Unfortunately, some website designers are claiming their websites meet WCAG standards when in fact, they contain inaccessible elements, have issues with screen readers, etc.
As designers, it’s our responsibility to ensure the websites we design are accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. It’s not enough to simply post a blanket statement claiming website accessibility. We need to actually do the work to make our websites accessible and usable for all.
Posting an accessibility statement when the website is not truly accessible is misleading and a disservice to people with disabilities who rely on accessible websites to access information, products, and services.
Designers who claim their clients’ websites are accessible need to be transparent and honest about the accessibility of the websites. If you’re a business owner or designer, I encourage you to take the time to truly make your website accessible and to be honest about its accessibility status.
What is an Accessibility Statement Template?
An accessibility statement template is a pre-written statement that businesses or website designers use to claim that their website is accessible to people with disabilities. These accessibility statement templates often contain generic language about the importance of accessibility, followed by a list of accessibility features that are supposedly available on the website. While these statements may seem like a convenient solution, they are often inaccurate and misleading.
Some website designers use accessibility statement templates to quickly and easily check off a box on their website to say they have an accessibility statement. Unfortunately, many designers do not take the time to understand the unique accessibility needs of their website users, nor do they ensure that their websites meet established accessibility standards.
In some cases, designers will use accessibility statement templates to claim that their website meets accessibility standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), without actually doing the work to ensure that their website is truly accessible. This is a disservice to people with disabilities who rely on accessible websites to access information, products, and services.
One of the primary problems with accessibility statement template is that they lack specificity. They may not accurately reflect the accessibility status of the website in question, or they may make claims that are not supported by evidence. This can create a sense of mistrust with website users and potentially lead to legal consequences for the business or organization behind the website.
Another issue with accessibility statement template is that they can be inaccurate. If a website has not been designed with accessibility in mind, using an accessibility statement template that claims the website is accessible is potentially misleading. This can create confusion and frustration for website users with disabilities who may encounter barriers to accessing the website’s content.
In short, it’s essential for designers and businesses to take a personalized approach to website accessibility and avoid using accessibility statement templates that may be inaccurate or misleading. By taking the time to truly understand the accessibility needs of their website users, businesses and designers can create more inclusive and accessible digital experiences for all.
Why you should never use accessibility statement template
When it comes to website accessibility statements, using a pre-written accessibility statement template may seem like a quick and easy solution. However, there are several reasons why this approach can be problematic. For one, a template accessibility statement may not be specific to the website in question and may include general statements about accessibility that don’t accurately reflect the accessibility status of the website.
Additionally, using an accessibility statement template can be inaccurate and potentially misleading, which could result in legal consequences for the business or organization behind the website. From an ethical standpoint, claiming accessibility when it does not exist can create a sense of mistrust with website users. Finally, focusing on accessibility as an afterthought or using a template statement may result in missed opportunities to create a more inclusive and accessible design from the outset.
- Lack of specificity: An accessibility statement template may not be specific to the website in question. It may include general statements about accessibility that don’t accurately reflect the accessibility status of the website.
- Inaccuracy: If a website has not been designed with accessibility in mind, using an accessibility statement template that claims the website is accessible is inaccurate and potentially misleading.
- Potential legal consequences: If a website claims to be accessible but is not, the business or organization behind the website could face legal consequences for violating accessibility laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
- Ethical considerations: Claiming accessibility when it does not exist can be seen as unethical and may create a sense of mistrust with website users.
- Missed opportunities: Focusing on accessibility as an afterthought, or using a template statement, may result in missed opportunities to create a more inclusive and accessible design from the outset.
So what does a good accessibility statement include?
Purpose: Begin with a clear statement of the purpose of the accessibility statement. This should include an explanation of why accessibility is important and how it aligns with the organization’s values.
Compliance: Specify which accessibility guidelines your website complies with, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 or 2.1 (2.2 coming soon). Be sure to state which level of compliance your website meets, such as A, AA, or AAA.
Accessibility Features: Provide a detailed list of the accessibility features that are available on your website, such as keyboard navigation, specific screen reader compatibility, and text-to-speech functionality.
Limitations: Be honest about any limitations or areas of the website that may not be accessible. This could include third-party widgets or plugins that are not fully accessible or certain content that may not be available in alternative formats.
Contact Information: Provide clear contact information for users who encounter accessibility issues or have questions about the website’s accessibility. This could include an email address or phone number to contact the website’s accessibility team.
Updates: Include a statement that the accessibility statement will be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure ongoing compliance with accessibility guidelines.
By including these elements in your website’s accessibility statement, you can provide transparency and reassurance to users with disabilities that your website is committed to making its content accessible to everyone.
What should you do if you want a legit website accessibility statement?
If you want a legitimate website accessibility statement, it’s important to work with a professional website design agency that has experience in website accessibility. At 181 Creative Agency, we offer a range of accessibility services to help ensure that your website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.
Our accessibility auditing services can help identify any barriers that may prevent users with disabilities from accessing your website, while our remediation services can help address those barriers to bring your website into compliance with established accessibility standards.
We offer accessible design from the start, which involves building accessibility into the design process from the beginning, rather than as an afterthought. This approach can help ensure that your website is fully accessible from the outset and can help prevent future accessibility issues.
Christine is CPACC certified through the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP), which means I have the knowledge and skills necessary to design and develop accessible websites that meet established accessibility standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
In conclusion, website accessibility is not something to be taken lightly or treated as an afterthought. It is the responsibility of designers and businesses to ensure their websites are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. While accessibility statement templates may seem like a quick and easy solution, they ultimately do a disservice to people with disabilities and can result in legal consequences and ethical concerns.
A good accessibility statement should be specific to the website in question and accurately reflect its accessibility status. It should provide detailed information about the accessibility features available on the website and any limitations or areas that may not be fully accessible. Most importantly, it should be transparent and honest, and provide clear contact information for users who may encounter accessibility issues or have questions about the website’s accessibility.
By taking the time to create a thorough and accurate accessibility statement, designers and businesses can demonstrate their commitment to creating inclusive and accessible digital experiences for all users. Let’s work together to ensure that website accessibility is not just a buzzword, but a fundamental aspect of digital design.
In short, if you want a legitimate website accessibility statement, it’s essential to work with a professional website design agency that has experience and expertise in website accessibility. At 181 Creative Agency, we are committed to creating inclusive and accessible digital experiences for all users. Contact us today to learn more about our accessibility services and how we can help ensure that your website is accessible to everyone.