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Why should accessibility evaluation be performed by an external auditor instead of web developers?

This article explains why good web accessibility audits are necessary and the key aspects covered by such audits.

An analysis of web accessibility is essential if we want to identify the various barriers that stop people with disabilities from accessing online information and services.

To do this, an audit is usually performed which gives us information regarding the website’s or web application’s level of accessibility and any barriers that may exist. Once complete, a number of solutions are recommended to ensure full web accessibility and compliance with current accessibility regulations.

Developers rarely consider accessibility compliance when designing their websites

When designing an application or website, developers generally tend to focus on good performance and good content distribution. They tend to overlook aspects related to web usability and accessibility, which are also extremely important.

Web designers will generally inform users that the website or web application has been designed to meet the required standards and legislation in accessibility, but they know that customers are actually unable to verify this for themselves, and therefore such claims are often not true.

These aspects are seldom considered during development, leading to numerous accessibility errors when such applications or websites are reviewed by the authorities.

This represents a problem for clients, because if their website does not comply with legal regulations, the responsibility is theirs, and not the developer’s. The legal ramifications of non-compliance with Royal Decree 1112/2018 would affect them and never the team or company that developed the website. That is why an external auditor is always recommended, as it would assure the client they are meeting accessibility regulations.

Why is an external web accessibility audit important?

Web development teams focus on optimizing source code and performance. This means that the quality of websites and web applications are generally poor overall.

Today, many companies or institutions still ask their website developer to review accessibility to ensure they comply with the established regulations, but doing so leads to unfavourable results most of the time.

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This situation is often detected when an external auditor reviews the errors, concluding that the website or web application does not meet the necessary accessibility regulations.

Hence the importance of having an external company evaluate or audit accessibility, not the website developer. It is therefore necessary to separate both services to ensure that all barriers are truly eliminated.

An external accessibility auditing service will guarantee that a greater proportion of products and services will be truly accessible to users.

Auditing services for WCAG 2.1 and Royal Decree 1112/2018 compliance

External auditors must comply with all the guidelines set forth in WCAG 2.1 and Royal Decree 1112/2018.

To ensure this, the audit must include an automated and manual evaluation of the website to be audited, and whether technical aids will also work in different contexts.

This coupled with an understanding that there will be certain aspects requiring improvement that are specific to the website or web application under audit, thereby calling for a custom analysis on the part of the accessibility specialists.

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The next step is to draw up a report in keeping with the client needs and objectives. This report details the issues requiring attention, and the level of accessibility offered.

The main challenge is the detection of existing errors and their correction so that the highest degree of accessibility can be obtained.

This while taking into consideration compliance with the various accessibility regulations and guaranteed satisfactory user experience.

Tips for choosing an external web accessibility auditor

Cheap often ends up being costly. Remember that investing in a proper audit will help you meet current regulations and also broaden the scope of your website.

With these considerations in mind, we recommend that you look for an audit provider that:

Meeting the web accessibility levels stipulated by WCAG 2.1 and Royal Decree 1112/2018 is of paramount importance.

Trust an external auditor to review the accessibility of your website and avoid any legal repercussions for your company; website or web application developers rarely take these issues into account.

Eliminating existing barriers on websites not only fosters the social inclusion of people with disabilities, it also improves the scope of your website and web application, along with its positioning.

It’s time to audit your website! Contact us and learn about all the benefits of a web accessibility audit offered by inSuit and its 360 services. No purchase necessary.