An overall understanding of your website’s accessibility is critical knowledge for every organization, large and small. Once you know where you stand, you can start making plans for improvement. And while you may be able to rationalize postponing accessibility remediation, it is in your best interest to prioritize it. Digital accessibility lawsuits have risen exponentially over the past few years, and you’re missing out on valuable revenue by ignoring up to 25% of the population with a disability.
Consistent monitoring of your website will enable you to identify trends (both good and bad) and document your accessibility progress. A website is like a human body. You wouldn’t assume that a clean bill of health from a single doctor’s visit would guarantee good health for the rest of your life, would you? The same thing goes for accessibility. Your website will not remain static; it needs constant monitoring to alert you to any accessibility changes.
What is automated accessibility monitoring?
Automated accessibility monitoring is performed by software that crawls your website, looking for accessibility failures. It reviews your code and checks it against rules created by the software developer. This is called a “ruleset.” These rules are based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
What you need to know about automated accessibility testing
An automated accessibility testing tool is not a replacement for a manual review. It should be used as a supplemental resource that is part of your overall accessibility process. Automated solutions are great for ongoing monitoring, identifying trends across an entire site, and helping you prioritize widespread issues. Still, they will not catch as many accessibility failures as a human would.
There are a few reasons for this. First, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are just that: guidelines. A good number of the criteria are open-ended and cannot be resolved with a “pass/fail” rule. Additionally, developers interpret the criteria differently, so the ruleset used in an accessibility monitoring tool is an interpretation of WCAG by the creator of the software. What one developer considers passable another may not.
Automated testing is incredibly helpful for ongoing monitoring because it does not take any manpower to do so. Firms with limited resources can identify errors that may have gone unnoticed otherwise. Even organizations with whole departments dedicated to accessibility are unable to devote the internal resources needed to scan the thousands of pages an accessibility monitoring tool can crawl in mere minutes.
ARC Monitoring, TPGi’s automated accessibility testing and monitoring tool, is the ideal solution for your monitoring needs. Starting at just $99/month, it’s affordable, reliable, and very powerful. But don’t take our word for it. Sign up for your free website accessibility scan today to see how ARC Monitoring assesses your website.