DIY: What You Can Do About Website Accessibility Right Now (With No Design or Dev Skills)

man working from multiple desktop monitors

Making your digital assets accessible involves a commitment on your part.

There are 50 WCAG success criteria (i.e., a checklist of 50 to-do’s) that are highly recommended for web accessibility.

Sometimes checking off a WCAG success criteria is simple and easy and other times it may be arduous and time-consuming (it depends on the asset).

But what is doable if you don’t have the skills of a web designer or web developer?

I have designated the following 11 success criteria as directly applicable for the primary role of content editor (i.e., someone who controls the content but isn’t skilled in design or development).

Only very light coding ability is needed to account for these accessibility measures.

Note that a key element of success criterion 1.1.1 (A) Non-text content is providing alt text for images and content editors should be able to address alt text, for the most part.

1.2.1 (A) Audio and Video — Provide a transcript for audio and a transcript or audio description for video.

1.2.2 (A) Captions — Provide descriptive captions for pre-recorded video.

1.2.3 (A) Audio Description — Provide a transcript or audio description for video.

1.2.4 (AA) Live Captions — Provide live captions for formal broadcasts (e.g., webinar).

1.2.5 (AA) Audio Description — Provide audio descriptions for video.

1.3.3 (A) Sensory — Write your instructions that don’t rely on one sense.

1.4.5 (AA) Images of Text — Avoid images of text.

2.4.2 (A) Page Title — Create a unique title for each page.

2.4.4 (A) Link Purpose — Write link anchor text so that the link purpose can be determined.

2.4.6 (AA) Headings and Labels — Write headings and labels so that they are descriptive.

3.1.2 (AA) Language of parts — Anytime the language changes within a page, a new language is assigned.

Of course, this is only a start, but it’s a great start.

Even without the skills of a developer or designer, you can dramatically enhance your website’s accessibility (and lower your chances of receiving a lawsuit or demand letter).

But what about the success criteria that do require a developer and/or designer?

I’ve now updated my WCAG 2.1 AA checklist to include designations for content editors, designers, and developers for all success criteria.

This way you / your organization can much more easily, efficiently, and effectively work down your WCAG to-do list.

You can download my WCAG 2.1 AA checklist for free (no subscription required) at Accessible.org.