Website accessibility and ADA compliance is often a complicated subject, and the steps required to ensure your site’s design, structure and content are accessible can be labor-intensive. However, one of the easiest components of an accessibility initiative is an accessibility statement.
What is a website accessibility statement?
An accessibility statement is a publically available statement that signals your current efforts to comply, as well as your compliance with anti-discrimination laws that your school and/or district are compelled to follow.
Where does my website accessibility statement go?
An accessibility statement should be its own page on your website with the vanity URL of www.school.org/accessibility-statement to make it easy to find. It is recommended to add a link to this statement to your footer, as well as a quicklinks or utility menu navigation option.
If your school uses AudioEye, you will be provided with a trusted accessibility certification and help desk, which can take the place of your accessibility statement if you wish. An accessibility certification is only offered by AudioEye, and can only be presented after your website has gone through all three phases of compliance.
What should my website accessibility statement say?
Your district’s web accessibility statement should address two main topics:
- First, you must list the steps your school or district is taking to adhere with WCAG 2.0 guidelines.
- Second, you must provide a contact person for any accessibility complaints.
Accessibility statements are a utility statement for your website, meaning there is no need to get creative or reinvent the wheel. We’ve crafted three different templates below that you can use for your school or district’s site. (Or, create a mash-up of them all!)
Aside from these two requires pieces of your accessibility statement, you can also address the following:
- Explain any specific features that have been incorporated into your website, such as adding the AudioEye toolbar, and how to use them.
- List the assistive technologies, such as the screen-reading software JAWS, that are compatible with your site.
- Provide tips for users with disabilities that will enhance their experience on your website. For example, you might suggest they keep their browsers or assistive technology software updated with the latest versions.
- Include external links to resources that might be helpful for some individuals, including links to section 508, The American Disabilities Act, and WCAG 2.0.
Website Accessibility Statement Copy-and-Paste Templates
Does your school or district's website need an accessibility statement? Copy and paste one of our templates below!
Template 1: A Detailed Overview
[SCHOOL/DISTRICT] WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY STATEMENT
We incorporate website accessibility standards into the design and maintenance of our website to ensure accessibility for all people regardless of ability or method of access.
What we’re doing about web accessibility: To help us make our website a positive place for everyone, we've been using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These guidelines explain how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities, and user-friendly for everyone. The guidelines have three levels of accessibility (A, AA and AAA) and we’ve chosen Level AA as the target for our website.
Tell us how we’re doing: We've worked hard on our website and towards achieving our goal of Level AA compliance. We monitor the website regularly to maintain this goal. If you do find any problems, please contact us by emailing [NAME] at [EMAIL ADDRESS].
Receiving Additional Help: Most popular browsers and plugins contain built-in accessibility tools and features. For more information, please visit the accessibility information pages for these tools:
Additional Information: If you’d like to receive additional information on the web accessibility guidelines, visit this website.
Template 2: Short, Simple, Yet Effective
[SCHOOL/DISTRICT] WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY STATEMENT
[INSERT DISTRICT NAME HERE] is committed to making this website accessible to visitors with disabilities and is continually working to increase its accessibility and usability.
[INSERT WEBSITE URL HERE] strives to conform to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, Level AA. These recommendations outline how to make website content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities.
We are on a regular basis seeking opportunities to bring all areas of the site up to the same level of overall web accessibility.
If for any reason you cannot access any of the material on our website, please email [CONTACT PERSON] at [EMAIL ADDRESS] and we will work to resolve the problem as soon as possible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Finalsite's Content Marketing Manager, Mia shares innovative and helpful content that helps schools and districts create captivating online experiences that increase brand awareness, student and faculty retention, and school-to-home communications. With more than five years experience in the industry, Mia has written more than 200 articles, eBooks, and reports about best practices for schools on a variety of topics from social media to web design. As a former TV and news reporter, and wedding photographer, Mia specializes in sharing how to use storytelling to power your school's admissions funnel. When she isn't busy creating content or hosting her #LIKEABOSS Podcast for FinalsiteFM, you can find her hiking with her Boston terrier, running an army wives meeting at Fort Campbell, or enjoying a well-deserved savasana on her yoga mat.