The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits the exclusion of people with disabilities from everyday activities, such as buying an item at the store, watching a movie in a theater, enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, or having the car serviced at a local garage. You may not have realized this, but the law also extends to credit union websites.
Many people with disabilities use assistive technology that enables them to use computers. Some assistive technology involves separate computer programs or devices, such as screen readers, text enlargement software, and computer programs that enable people to control the computer with their voice.
Poorly designed websites can create unnecessary barriers for people with disabilities, just as poorly designed buildings prevent some people with disabilities from entering. Access problems often occur because website designers mistakenly assume that everyone sees and accesses a webpage in the same way. This mistaken assumption can frustrate assistive technologies and their users. Accessible website design recognizes these differences and does not require people to see, hear, or use a standard mouse in order to access the information and services provided.
If your website does not comply with guidance around WCAG 2.0 and Section 508 then you could potentially be opening your credit union up to litigation.
OMNICOMMANDER'S 4 Step Process to Web Accessibility
OMNICOMMANDER will work with your credit union to build fresh content to help drive new members, new loans, and new accounts. We understand that you do not have the time to create posts on a daily basis, so we will do it for you.
Step 1. Our developers have gone through extensive ADA training and are experts in building sites to be accessible to those with vision, hearing, and cognitive impairments.
Step 2. We have a full time ADA Compliance Officer. James Harrington is a Member of the IAAP (International Association of Accessibility Professionals.)
Step 3. SSG (Retired) Aaron Hale is a 14 year veteran of both the Navy and Army.
Before going live with a new website, Aaron goes through every page utilizing assistive technologies to ensure that it is accessible for those individuals with vision impairments. The ONLY way that you can ensure that your website is accessible is by going through it manually. Scanners can produce false positives and false negatives. This is the reason the latest standards in accessibility (WCAG2.1) include manual reviews.
Step 4. We have partnered with an independent 3rd party to provide a certificate of accessibility. Through this partnership, we have secured a discounted certification process that at the end of the engagement will result in a letter of accessibility that can be posted on the credit union's website.
OMNICOMMANDER's commitment to ADA Compliance
On December 11th, 2008, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 was released, marking the gold standard for web accessibility. WCAG, created by experts in the field of web accessibility, is known to the Department of Justice as a well-regarded guideline basis for web accessibility. WCAG 2.1 has been a highly anticipated update to the somewhat outdated WCAG 2.0, as it did not take into account modern technological advances in web development, smartphones and assistive technology.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) officially released WCAG 2.1 on June 5th of 2018. WCAG 2.1 serves the purpose to be a set of guidelines for creating a more accessible World Wide Web. WCAG 2.1 focuses mainly on creating accessible websites for people with low vision or blindness, hearing loss or deafness, physical or cognitive disabilities, as well as internet users with photo sensitivity or speech disabilities. WCAG 2.1 also places major emphasis on website accessibility via mobile devices, as they are becoming more prevalent.
Mobile responsiveness and the ability to perceive and utilize a website the same way a user would as if they were on a computer or other device is vital to accessibility, and this is a major talking point in WCAG 2.1. This is one of the most important changes that is found in WCAG 2.1, as WCAG 2.0 does not mention mobile responsiveness. OMNICOMMANDER has consistently led the way in exceptional mobile responsive web design since its conception and is ecstatic that this essential step in the journey towards accessibility is finally recognized in WCAG 2.1.
OMNICOMMANDER is actively conforming to the new web accessibility standards that WCAG 2.1 brings. On top of this, we are proud to say that we have already implemented many of the changes brought up in WCAG 2.1 significantly before its release, especially in terms of mobile responsiveness, screen orientation, and line spacing. OMNICOMMANDER is actively involved in discussions with accessibility experts worldwide regarding the creation of upcoming releases to WCAG 2.2 or 3.0 as well as W3C Silver (AG), the upcoming standard of Accessibility Guidelines.