Ensuring Web Accessibility: Standards and Best Practices

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: June 5th 2024

Website accessibility settings illustrating web accessibility standards and best practices

Too Long; Didn't Read:

Web accessibility standards ensure inclusive web design for all users, addressing disabilities and legal compliance. WCAG principles, like 'POUR,' are key, with WCAG 2.1 benefiting over 1 billion disabled users worldwide. Implementing accessible practices is a strategic business decision expanding market reach and brand loyalty.

Web accessibility is all about making websites work for everyone, including folks with disabilities like hearing, cognitive, physical, or visual impairments. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has guidelines for making sites accessible to all users.

Nearly 15% of people worldwide have a disability, according to Monsido, and inaccessible websites can shut them out from important info.

Not only is it the right thing to do, but ignoring accessibility can also lead to legal trouble – lawsuits related to website accessibility under the ADA have skyrocketed in recent years.

Following accessibility standards like WCAG isn't just about doing the bare minimum; it actually improves the user experience for everyone, not just those with disabilities.

These standards focus on making websites perceivable, understandable, operable, and robust. In our upcoming articles, we'll dive deeper into how Nucamp can help you build secure and accessible web applications that work for all users, with insights on secure coding practices, adaptive design, and user experience.

Stay tuned to learn how to create an online presence that's truly inclusive and versatile.

Table of Contents

  • What is Web Accessibility
  • Importance of Web Accessibility
  • Web Accessibility Standards
  • Best Practices for Ensuring Web Accessibility
  • Web Accessibility Testing Tools
  • Conclusion
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Check out next:

What is Web Accessibility


Let me break it down for you about web accessibility. It's all about making sure that people with disabilities can use websites without any problems.

When sites are designed and developed properly, everyone can access the information and features equally, regardless of their abilities.

It's not just about disabilities, though.

Web accessibility also benefits people living in rural areas, older folks, and even those with temporary disabilities. It's basically a fundamental right recognized by the United Nations, so it's a big deal.

The key concepts of web accessibility are summed up in the acronym 'POUR':

  • Perceivable: All the info and user interface elements must be presented in a way that everyone can notice and perceive them. This means providing alt text for images, captions for videos, and making sure everything can adapt to different visual needs.
  • Operable: Users should be able to navigate and control the site using various input methods, like keyboards or voice commands. It also means making sure the site doesn't trigger seizures or other issues for people with disabilities.
  • Understandable: The site's navigation and user interface should be simple and straightforward to understand. It should be predictable and help users avoid and fix mistakes.
  • Robust: The content needs to be compatible with a wide range of devices and technologies, including assistive tools. This ensures that everyone can access the site now and in the future, as technology evolves.

These principles are super important and need to be implemented throughout the website development process to create a seamless and barrier-free experience for all users.

The W3C provides detailed guidelines like the WCAG to help make websites accessible, and laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 reinforce the legal requirement for accessible web solutions.

With around 15% of the global population having some form of disability, web accessibility isn't just a nice-to-have; it's essential for ensuring equal access to online information and services for everyone.

It's a crucial aspect of user-centered design and development, so it's definitely something to keep in mind.

Fill this form to download the Bootcamp Syllabus

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Importance of Web Accessibility


Let's talk about web accessibility and why it's such a big deal these days. Did you know that, according to the CDC, like one in four adults in the US has some kind of disability? That's a lot of people, and it shows just how important it is to make sure websites are accessible to everyone.

The Web Accessibility Initiative points out that making sites accessible for people with disabilities also makes them easier to use for older folks, people in rural areas, and even those with temporary issues like a broken arm or whatever.

It's a win-win, really.

But it's not just about being nice – it's the law. With the updated Section 508 standards and the ADA, businesses and government agencies have to ensure their digital content is inclusive.

Fail to do that, and you could be facing some serious legal trouble and losing out on cash. And let's not forget the potential market – there are an estimated 61 million adults with disabilities in the US alone, and they've got money to spend too.

For schools and stuff, it's about giving everyone an equal opportunity to learn and succeed.

As web designers and developers, it's our responsibility to think about all the different users out there.

By making accessibility a part of our process from the start, we're not just doing the right thing for people with disabilities – we're creating a web that works for everyone.

This isn't just some feel-good nonsense; it's about living up to the vision of the digital age, where "Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect." Tim Berners-Lee said it best – we're building a web that lets everyone engage and be a part of this interconnected world.

Web Accessibility Standards


Web accessibility is the real deal if you want everyone to have a fair shot at surfing the net. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), created by the big dogs at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), are like the holy grail for making websites accessible.

The latest version, WCAG 2.1, builds on the previous one but also covers a wider range of disabilities like cognitive and low vision. According to the W3C, adopting WCAG 2.1 can help over 1 billion people worldwide with disabilities navigate the web like a boss.

In the good ol' US of A, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the law that says all "public places" must be accessible to everyone, and that includes digital spaces too.

While the ADA doesn't explicitly mention websites, recent court rulings have interpreted web content as a public place, so you better make sure your site is ADA compliant.

The Department of Justice is also on the case, stressing that businesses and government agencies need to make their websites accessible to meet ADA standards.

On top of that, U.S. Federal agencies have to follow Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which requires all their electronic and information tech to be accessible to people with disabilities.

Section 508 is tight with WCAG when it comes to technical standards, so it's super important for vendors and contractors working with federal agencies to get it right.

Federal employees and the public need to be able to access information without any roadblocks.

Understanding and following these web accessibility guidelines is an ongoing commitment for developers and organizations.

It's not just about being inclusive, but also staying on the right side of the law and doing the right thing in the digital world. Experts say integrating these guidelines is crucial to stay competitive and legally compliant as the digital landscape keeps evolving at warp speed.

Fill this form to download the Bootcamp Syllabus

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Best Practices for Ensuring Web Accessibility


Making websites accessible ain't just a nice gesture; it's the law. The ADA and WCAG rules are crystal clear: if your site ain't accessible, you're breaking the law.

And let's be real, a whopping 98% of homepages out there are failing to meet the basics. That's hella messed up.

So, what's the deal with accessibility? It's all about following the POUR principles: making sites Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust.

Here's the lowdown:

  • Create keyboard-only navigable sites for peeps who can't use a mouse.
  • Utilize semantic HTML, so assistive tech can understand what's going on.
  • Implement adaptive designs that work on any device or screen size.
  • Meet or exceed WCAG color contrast ratios, crucial for folks with visual impairments.
  • Use descriptive alt text for images, and captions/transcripts for videos.
  • Conduct comprehensive accessibility evaluations, using both automated tools and user feedback.

The key is to bake accessibility into your design and dev process from the get-go.

That way, you can catch potential barriers early on, before they become a massive headache. And with more and more people accessing the web on their smartphones (we're talking 85% of Americans), responsive design is a must.

But accessibility isn't just a technical checklist.

It's a philosophy that opens up digital spaces for everyone, no matter their abilities. As Léonie Watson said,

"Accessibility is not a feature—it is a social trend."

In our increasingly digital world, making the web accessible is a social responsibility we can't ignore.

Web Accessibility Testing Tools


Let me break it down for you about this web accessibility thing that's been blowing up lately. In 2023, it's like the hottest topic on the streets.

So, we got all these dope testing tools now that help us make sure our websites are accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.

We're talking about meeting those ADA and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards.

Now, don't get me wrong, these automated tools like Tricentis Testim are fire, but they can't catch everything.

They're only picking up like 25%-30% of the issues. That's why we still gotta put in that manual work to really make sure our sites are on point.

One of the dopest manual tools out there is the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE).

It's got this slick Chrome extension that gives you the 411 on accessibility straight away. And if you're more of a code ninja, you can't go wrong with the axe-Core framework.

But most devs these days are all about those Chrome extensions for accessibility testing.

They're just so convenient, and tools like Accessibility Insights for Web and Google's Lighthouse give you the low-down on what needs fixing.

And if you're feeling a little rusty, there are bootcamps and workshops to get you up to speed on using these tools like a pro.

At the end of the day, as one accessibility boss puts it,

"To completely integrate web accessibility, a blend of automated and manual testing is vital for thorough validation."

It's all about making sure our digital spaces are accessible to everyone, not just meeting standards like WCAG and Section 508, but creating an inclusive online experience for all users.

That's the real goal.

Fill this form to download the Bootcamp Syllabus

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.



Web accessibility standards ain't just about helping out the 15% of people with disabilities—it's a moral obligation and a core part of the internet's universal nature, as envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee himself.

But here's the real kicker: it's also a major boost for your business game. According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), making your site more accessible can increase user engagement by a whopping 42%.

That means more eyeballs on your content and better search engine rankings, since accessibility features like logical header structure and descriptive alt texts align with SEO best practices.

That's some serious brand loyalty right there, no matter your industry.

To keep your website up to snuff, you gotta:

  • Run regular web audits: Use automated tools and human evaluators to make sure you're staying compliant.
  • Update your digital content: Keep up with the latest accessibility guidelines to stay fresh and relevant.
  • Train your team: Get your devs on board with 'accessibility-first' mindsets for smoother implementation.

Baking these accessibility frameworks into your development process from the start isn't just good practice—it's a solid strategy for reaching the widest audience possible.

As Nucamp's articles on dev best practices make clear, prioritizing accessibility ain't just the right thing to do, it's a smart move for everyone involved.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility is the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites on the World Wide Web by people with disabilities.

Why are Web Accessibility Standards important?

Web Accessibility Standards are important as they ensure equal access to information and functionality for all users, not just those with disabilities. Adhering to these standards is crucial for legal compliance, enhanced user experience, and expanding market reach.

What are the key Web Accessibility Standards?

Key Web Accessibility Standards include the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) developed by the W3C, ADA regulations, and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. These standards outline principles like perceivability, operability, understandability, and robustness.

What are the Best Practices for Ensuring Web Accessibility?

Best Practices for Ensuring Web Accessibility include creating keyboard-navigable websites, using semantic HTML, implementing adaptive designs, meeting color contrast ratios, providing alt text for images, and conducting comprehensive accessibility evaluations.

You may be interested in the following topics as well:


Chevas Balloun

Director of Marketing & Brand

Chevas has spent over 15 years inventing brands, designing interfaces, and driving engagement for companies like Microsoft. He is a practiced writer, a productivity app inventor, board game designer, and has a builder-mentality drives entrepreneurship.