What to look for in an accessibility audit

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A digital accessibility audit is a page-by-page analysis of a website or application, generally resulting in a report deliverable meant to be acted on by development, design and content teams to make those assets accessible to all users, including people with disabilities.

Unfortunately, the majority of accessibility audits fail to see follow through by the recipients. If your organization is new to accessibility, it is important to note that there are many types of accessibility audits.

Although audits are usually measured against the same set of guidelines (WCAG 2.0 or 2.1 A/AA being the most common), there are certain characteristics that make some audits more actionable than others:

  • Pre-Audit Consultation - The type of audit your company should invest in depends on where you are in your accessibility journey, a good vendor will partner with you to assess which type of audit is the best fit.
  • Key Audit Characteristics:
    • The format in which the audit is presented. The recipient of the audit (who is not an accessibility expert) should be able to take the audit result, interpret it, and reach their compliance goals. 
    • The process which is recommended for remediation. The audit report you receive should help you understand the issues, show how to reproduce the issue, have recommendations for guidance, and outline acceptance criteria.
    • The tools that accompany the audit. During remediation, Developers can quickly check their work by way of automated tests. This is a proven manner in which to shorten validation efforts.
  • Post-Audit Support - After you receive the audit, your vendor should help you with any potential remediation questions and perform validation to ensure that remediation was done correctly.

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