Most Credit Union Websites Aren’t Accessible. Do You Know Where Yours Falls Short?
Given the existing legal environment, the lack of clear statutory guidance, and the DOJ's aggressive enforcement actions, credit unions should make sure their websites conform to accessibility standards, especially where litigation expenses can exceed the cost of compliance.
What Does an Accessibility Audit Involve?
A detailed look into your website's layout, structure and coding using WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines as the benchmark. A thorough accessibility audit provides:
- Evaluate accessibility needs, determine priorities, and chart a path to your goals.
- Detailed audit on how your website measures against current standards
- Strategies to bring your website environment into compliance
- Implement necessary changes for remediation
- Incorporate accessibility into your credit union to maintain on-going compliance
There are several items to consider when making your credit union website accessible. What is the best way to conduct an accessibility auditing? Will it fit our budget? What is the risk of potential litigation if we do nothing? In the end having an accessible website is the right thing to do.
What you should look for in when considering making your website accessible: download our Accessibility Checklist.
What is Web Accessibility?
Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the web. More specifically, web accessibility means that people with disabilities can identify, recognize, navigate and interact with a website. Web accessibility also benefits people without disabilities, including older people with changing abilities due to aging.
Increased Access = Increased Member Satisfaction, Increased Market Share and Increased Revenue
Almost every change made to your site that corrects accessibility issues also improves its SEO (Search Engine Optimization), a benefit often overlooked by credit unions. Nearly 1 out 5 people in the US has some kind of disability, making your credit union's website accessible improves your potential user base by up to 20%.
Try this quick accessibility test.
- Unplug the mouse and/or turn off the track-pad. Can you do everything they need to do using only the keyboard?
- Turn on the “high contrast” mode in Windows. How does the site look? High contrast is a crucial tool for the large number of low vision users.
- Turn off images. Without visual clues, does the content still make sense? Does the site still function?
- Check for captions and transcripts. Visual options and cues are necessary alternatives to audio features for hearing-impaired members.
If your website fails any one of these simple tests you will need to fix your website's coding to become accessible under the new section 508 refresh and WCAG2.0 guidelines.