When your website needs an upgrade, fast
Swiss public administration, that means BUND, cantons, municipalities, and federal enterprises (such as SBB or Swiss Post) are required by law to comply with accessibility standards such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG. In addition, due to the growing awareness by the public, there is an increasing amount of organisations from the private sector or NPOs, who choose to invest in accessibility.
Accessibility appears pretty straight forward when you talk to experts, but it can easily become a frustrating topic for organisations as well as their suppliers, when accessibility requirements are not met. Even with contracts specifying said accessibility requirements, many third-party suppliers fail to implement accessibility due to lacking time or skills. This creates frustration for organisations, as both organisations and suppliers have invested a lot of resources to fulfil the accessibility requirements and still the results aren’t meeting the standard. The ensuing discussions on how to resolve this situation leave no winner, with both parties losing time and money.
How to prevent an accessibility emergency
There are certain steps you can take to prevent an accessibility emergency from happening.
- Set the expectations for accessibility: Have a dedicated section in the contract that specifies that accessibility, meaning that a website is accessible to everyone (including people with disabilities), is a requirement. That way, you and your third-party supplier have the same set of expectations. In addition, your contract should specify that the final product has to be checked by a third party (usually Access for all Foundation as Swiss-wide recognised specialist.
- Work with experts: Choose a partner that has experience with accessibility. A trusted accessibility expert may hold talks about the subject, or you can look for evidence of past accessibility projects on their website. Some of our projects where accessibility was the main focus include WOZ, SBB and Agate
- Calculate enough time for multiple iterations: It is crucial that not only the final product is checked, but rather aim for regular checks already during the creation process. If the accessibility requirements are not met, there is enough time to act. Like this, adjustments are smaller and can happen incrementally without entirely overthrowing the work that has been done before, saving your resources for other exciting projects.
What if an accessibility emergency still occurs?
If you still find yourself in a situation where your product does not meet the accessibility requirements or the third-party supplier has issues adhering to accessibility requirements, you need accessibility experts, fast! Onboarding Nothing’s accessibility experts, who cover all accessibility aspects in the creation process from design to implementation, means quick support, in-depth technical advice, and target-oriented solutions.
Our offer includes:
- Accessibility audit: Our accessibility experts check the accessibility of your website (in the design and in the code) against the WCAG 2.1 universal standards.
- Technical support: We offer on-demand support by the hour. Call us quickly to be unblocked and keep on working.
- Parallel programming: We work alongside your team (remote or in person) and enable them to verify whether your product is accessible as specified by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
- Accessible design: We check your existing design or create one based on accessibility guidelines.
- Content optimisation for accessibility: Easy language and inclusive writing in German, French and English
- Accessibility user research: We conduct user testings with your target users or real audience during the creation phase and when the final product is complete.