What is involved with a website accessibility audit? (Part 4)
This is where my amazing website accessibility team join in!
I do not care what anybody says, you cannot truly know whether your website is accessible for disabled people or not unless you have had disabled people do a live audit of your website! I know this sounds unbelievably obvious but apparently not to many people!
A dose of reality
I thought I knew about website accessibility for disabled people, this is what I have been involved in for 15 years. We have built countless websites, I have given many presentations on the subject and I even had the privilege of giving a TEDx Talk recently but it is only by working closely with my amazing team that I began to truly appreciate how challenging doing something as simple as navigating website can be.
I am so blessed by them, every live audit I do, when they share their screen with me and we journey through the website together, I am reminded of the challenges that people face just because no thought has been given to the needs of disabled people, when the website was designed and built.
My fab team!
There is Mede. She uses a screen reader. She hasn’t always been blind, she began to develop a degenerative eye condition when she was 8 years old. She uses JAWS and is completing a Masters in Marketing at the moment. Working with her on a live audit is an enlightening experience!
There is Iona. She used to photograph some of the biggest names in the world of rock before a brain injury left her without effective use of her hands, unless she wishes to endure significant and cumulative pain. She uses Dragon Dictation software as often as can but has to resort to a mouse when the website is not able to allow her to perform the most basic of tasks otherwise. She is currently studying for a physiotherapy degree.
We also have Sara. She is a top engineering student who is neurodivergent. She has no issues using either a keyboard or a mouse but she has major issues with screen contrast and popups. She uses Dark Mode usually because white backgrounds are challenging for her and they rarely have a contrast option on the website.
My team are amazing. They are all extremely familiar with using the web, they have all been doing so for years and, like we all do, they find ways of working around issues as best they can. They also show the most unbelievable patience!
Hard but rewarding work
Our live audits are challenging but also unbelievably rewarding. The reason for this is simple. Regardless of how accessible you think your website is or what your accessibility statement says, if you have a video of someone who simply cannot use it and you can see why they cannot use it, you understand and make sure you never code a website that way again.
This is how we change the world, one website at a time.
In my next post, the final one in this series, I will be looking at what is done next, after I have my raw materials.
Would you like to find out more about this?
If you would like to see my TEDxTalk on website accessibility, please follow this link:
If you would like to find out more about website accessibility, why now view our website dedicated specifically to the subject? Please follow this link to visit it:
If you are interested in a free initial review of the accessibility of your website, why not book yourself a consultation? Please follow this link to do so:
Access by Design. Accessible Websites, Beautifully Designed.
Outstanding Website Accessibility Audits
Award-winning web design, Chichester.