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How to Create an Accessibility Statement for Your Website

By June 4, 2024No Comments6 min read

Ensuring that your website is accessible to individuals with disabilities is not only a legal requirement but also an ethical responsibility. An accessibility statement is a crucial element that demonstrates your commitment to inclusivity and provides transparency about the accessibility efforts you’ve undertaken for your website.

An accessibility statement serves as a valuable resource for users with disabilities, informing them about the accessible features and functionalities of your website. It also outlines any known accessibility barriers or limitations, as well as your plan for addressing them. By creating an accessibility statement, you can build trust with your users, enhance the user experience, and promote an inclusive online environment.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the importance of an accessibility statement, its key components, and step-by-step instructions for creating an effective one for your website.

The Importance of an Accessibility Statement

  1. Transparency and Trust

An accessibility statement fosters transparency by openly communicating your website’s accessibility efforts and any existing barriers. This level of honesty and transparency can help build trust with your users, particularly those with disabilities, as it demonstrates your commitment to inclusivity and continuous improvement.

  1. Legal Compliance

Many countries and jurisdictions have laws and regulations in place that require websites to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. An accessibility statement can serve as evidence of your compliance efforts and help mitigate potential legal risks.

  1. User Experience

For users with disabilities, an accessibility statement provides valuable information about the accessible features and functionalities of your website. This empowers them to make informed decisions about their ability to navigate and interact with your website effectively.

Key Components of an Effective Accessibility Statement

An effective accessibility statement should include the following key components:

  1. Introduction

Start your accessibility statement with a clear introduction that outlines your commitment to accessibility and inclusivity. Explain why accessibility is important to your organization and how it aligns with your values and mission.

  1. Accessible Features and Functionalities

Provide a detailed overview of the accessible features and functionalities implemented on your website. This could include alternative text for images, keyboard navigation support, closed captioning for videos, and more. Highlight any industry standards or guidelines you’ve followed, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

  1. Known Accessibility Barriers or Limitations

While striving for full accessibility, it’s essential to acknowledge any known accessibility barriers or limitations that currently exist on your website. Be transparent about these issues and outline your plan for addressing them in the future.

  1. Accessibility Conformance

If your website conforms to specific accessibility standards or guidelines, such as WCAG 2.1 Level AA or Section 508 compliance, clearly state this in your accessibility statement. Provide details on the conformance level and any applicable exceptions or limitations.

  1. Feedback and Contact Information

Encourage users to provide feedback on their accessibility experiences with your website. Include clear contact information, such as an email address or a dedicated feedback form, where users can report accessibility issues or suggest improvements.

  1. Revision and Update Information

Specify the date when the accessibility statement was last updated and provide information on how frequently it will be reviewed and revised. This demonstrates your ongoing commitment to improving accessibility and keeping the statement up-to-date.

Creating an Accessibility Statement: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you understand the importance and key components of an effective accessibility statement, let’s walk through the process of creating one for your website:

  1. Conduct an Accessibility Audit

Before drafting your accessibility statement, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough accessibility audit of your website. This will help you identify the accessible features and functionalities already in place, as well as any existing barriers or limitations.

You can perform the audit manually using accessibility evaluation tools or hire an accessibility consultant or expert to conduct a comprehensive assessment.

  1. Gather Information and Feedback

Collect relevant information about your website’s accessibility efforts, such as the accessibility guidelines or standards you’ve followed, any third-party tools or services you’ve used, and any feedback or reports from users with disabilities.

Encourage your team members and stakeholders to contribute their insights and perspectives on accessibility.

  1. Draft the Accessibility Statement

Using the information gathered from your audit and research, begin drafting your accessibility statement. Follow the key components outlined earlier, ensuring that you clearly communicate your commitment, accessible features, known limitations, and conformance levels.

Use clear, concise language and avoid technical jargon or complex terminology to ensure that the statement is understandable to a wide range of users.

  1. Review and Refine

Once you’ve completed the initial draft, review the accessibility statement thoroughly. Ensure that the information is accurate, up-to-date, and aligned with your organization’s values and mission.

Consider having the statement reviewed by individuals with disabilities, accessibility experts, or legal professionals to obtain valuable feedback and insights.

  1. Publish and Promote

After finalizing your accessibility statement, publish it on your website in a prominent and easily accessible location. Many organizations choose to create a dedicated “Accessibility” page or include the statement in their website’s footer or legal section.

Promote the availability of your accessibility statement through various channels, such as social media, email newsletters, and other communication platforms. This will help raise awareness and demonstrate your commitment to inclusivity.

  1. Continuously Update and Improve

Accessibility is an ongoing process, and your website’s accessibility statement should reflect that. Regularly review and update the statement to incorporate any new accessible features or functionalities you’ve implemented, address any newly identified barriers or limitations, and ensure compliance with the latest accessibility standards and regulations.

Encourage users to provide feedback and use their insights to continuously improve your website’s accessibility and update the statement accordingly.

Creating an effective accessibility statement for your website is a crucial step towards promoting inclusivity and ensuring that individuals with disabilities can access and navigate your online content with ease. By following the guidelines and best practices outlined in this guide, you can craft a comprehensive and transparent accessibility statement that demonstrates your commitment to accessibility, builds trust with your users, and enhances the overall user experience.

Remember, an accessibility statement is not just a compliance requirement; it’s a powerful tool that showcases your organization’s values and dedication to creating an inclusive online environment for all. By prioritizing accessibility and continuously updating your statement, you’ll not only improve the user experience for individuals with disabilities but also position your website as a leader in accessible and inclusive digital design.


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