Accessibility Statements

There has been some blog discussion recently on whether or not a web site should provide an accessibility statement. You know, the small text link on the site that says “site accessibility” or “AAA compliant”. It seems that fear of being sued and trendiness have been the main reasons for accessibility statement pages on many web sites.

The consensus from the professional blogs, with which I mostly agree, is that a Help page should be implemented rather than an accessibility page. The Help page should handle any pertinent topics in addition to accessibility features that may be unique to the web site. I say “unique” because if a Help page exists at all, the content should be outside of general knowledge (such as tab order) and browser-specific instructions (such as pressing CTRL + to enlarge text).

The only exception I would point out is a web site that advertises the accessibility of the web site itself. Case in point, the CheckEngine USA web site, which sponsors Web Axe, contains a Site Accessibility page. The reason for the page is as much for marketing and educational purposes as it is for users with disabilities, etc. The company’s specialty is accessibility (as well as web standards and usability) so in this particular case, I believe it makes sense.

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