Accessibility from the start
If meeting deadlines and keeping projects under budget is important to you, keeping accessibility in mind from the start will always save you money and time. Retrofitting websites or Electronic Information Technology (EIT) takes more time and can result in inferior results.
Know the principles
Having a working knowledge of the basic principles of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 is the best place to start. People can use the ample resources on webaim.org. People can view the WCAG Principles and Guidelines page or contact the Duke Web Accessibility Team to come do free group training.
Share Duke's Guidelines with vendors
If you use vendors to create websites, design or write your content, Duke has simple accessibility Guidelines procurement language to include in Request for Proposals (RFPs) and Statements of Work (SOWs) to ensure the end-product meets Duke's Guidelines on web accessibility. You can also point vendors to Duke's Guidelines page.
Even with that preemptive knowledge, it is possible the vendor will ignore the guidelines. It is incumbent on the purchases to validate that the guidelines are followed and that the product or service meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
Test early and often
When creating a new website the most proactive thing you can do is to consider contrast ratio issues. Changing them after the website is already built always costs more than starting with a design that you know is accessible. If you need help testing a design, contact us.
You do not have to wait for a website to be completed to test it for compliance. When you get the design, you can test the design for WCAG 2.0 compliance.
- Download the Color Contrast Analyser Chrome Extention.
- After it is installed you will see this icon in your browser bar.
- Drag the JPG of the design into the browser
- Click the Icon for the Color Contrast Analyser and wait a few seconds. It will produce an image that evaluates the color contrast of text.
- Evaluate the page to see if the text on the page meets the required contrast ratio. Text that is outlined in white passes. Text with no outline is not compliant.
You can use tools like this to communicate with your vendor and catch problems early.
Before the site goes live check it for compliance in the development phase. Fixing issues before they go live is easier to fix and reduces the liability of a website going live with potential violations. We have a section on how to do a self-assessment.
Even if the development site is behind a firewall you can test for obvious issues using the WAVE Web Accessibility Tool Chrome or FireFox Extension. The website can also be tested against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Guidelines.
If issues are found refer to the procurement language you provided in your contract. Vendors would need to fix the issues.