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The importance of digital accessibility and WCAG 2.2

One thing that we often talk about here at Mando, and indeed across the digital ecosystem is the importance of building inclusive web experiences for all.  

Accessibility is a hot topic right now and brands and businesses should have their users, wherever they sit across the digital maturity spectrum at the forefront of their strategies. 

If you can offer an experience that caters to all, then chances are you will see an increase in conversions, whatever your KPIs. Accessibility isn’t a ‘nice to have’ it’s essential, and this is backed up by the latest WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) update - WCAG 2.2. This is currently in draft status, but is likely to become standard in 2023, at which point it will start affecting your digital accessibility compliance.   

According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international community set up to develop standards across the web, “The new WCAG 2.2 release defines how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. Accessibility involves a wide range of disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities. 

“They also make Web content more usable by older individuals with changing abilities due to aging and often improve usability for users in general.” 

This rollout is the first major update since WCAG 2.1 in June 2018 and as well as looking to assist those groups mentioned above, also has a goal of providing a shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organisations, and governments internationally. 

WCAG 2.2 will introduce a further nine success criteria to the existing 78, such as a new focus indicator requirement to help keyboard users and a new minimum click target size to help those on touch devices. Mando is already starting to work towards the WCAG 2.2 standard, incorporating the new criteria into our design, development and test processes. Mando is already starting to work towards this new standard, incorporating new criteria into our design, development and test strategies so that clients are ahead of the curve. 

So, what does all of this mean? Well, at a top level, there are four principles that provide the foundation for Web accessibility. These principles are that all content must be: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.  

Working towards the defined WCAG criteria does help sites become more accessible, but it is these four core principles that must underpin and impact on every area of your web strategy if you want to have a truly accessible digital offering. 

When it comes to building out a strategy, businesses should merge accessibility considerations into all of these key areas: 

  • Journey mapping
  • Design 
  • User stories and technical specifications
  • Development
  • Testing and regression
  • Content migration

Here at Mando, that is exactly what we do. We work in a way that considers accessibility throughout every stage of an engagement with our clients and brings our years of expertise in this area to the table. 

If you’re unsure of how accessible your digital offering really is, or if you want to get ahead of these new accessibility criteria that are due to land in the coming months, we can help. We look beyond WCAG conformance and can give you a high-level overview of genuine accessibility issues that may be present in your sites, as well as working with you to build a strategy to improve.  

Mando offers various accessibility auditing and remediation services as well as a number of clinics to raise awareness in your team. These are filled with practical insights and solutions for those wanting and, more importantly, needing to improve their digital accessibility offering. 

If you want to find out more about digital accessibility or how Mando could help you, why not get in touch?