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Making Website Content Accessible: Who is Responsible?
Kara Franco and Will Rickenback

Understanding Responsible Parties in Accessibility Remediation

For our clients who have scanned their sites for errors and relevant warnings/risks related to WCAG 2.0 AA standards, the most pressing question often is "who is going to remediate the issues that were found?"

Content Accessible

The simple answer is that anyone involved in building the website and adding content may be involved in remediating the issues. At Finalsite, many of our clients utilize our partners at AudioEye to make sure their sites remediated by the AudioEye Ally solution. The utilization of the AudioEye technology saves time, money and more importantly, delivers a web experience that is accessible for all.

For those clients that don't utilize AudioEye the first step is determining the responsible party for each specific issue can be challenging. By understanding the results and WCAG 2.0 success criteria, the picture can become much more clear. In fact, several scanners sort errors by responsibility and give detailed information about the Success Criteria.

More often than not, the responsibilities can be broken into three labels:

  • Editor / Content Creator (content-related issues)
  • Webmaster (page specific HTML issues)
  • Developer (global JS/CSS issues)

Content vs Structure

Issues are typically found in two parts of the site - the content and the structure.  In most cases, issues noted in the content of the site are able to be remediated directly by you, the webmaster or content creator.  In some cases, you may find issues with the structure of the site that will need to be resolved via changes to the code created by Finalsite. This can be CSS and Javascript created by your Front-end Developer or HTML that is generated by our software.  Occasionally, there may be issues found related to third party code or embeds, such as embedded forms, videos or social media, that you will need to discuss with that provider or content creator. 


Client Content: As a content creator, you will be responsible for the content that you add into Composer, Finalsite's Content Management System, and testing it for accessibility; this testing should involve manual and automated testing. Our Knowledge Base and Training site has resources for you and your district to review about how to test your site, understand results and make accessible content.

Third-party Content: Any content that you embed or have fed into your site may have accessibility issues. For example, if you embed a third-party form onto your site, you will need to test that form for accessibility and, if there are any WCAG 2.0 errors, contact the third-party vendor to update their embed element.


Finalsite Software Developer Code: Finalsite's CMS generates code for the presentation of dynamic content (calendars, athletics, posts - anything that is displayed via the use of a Composer Element). There may be accessibility issues related to the presentation of the element's content. If you've identified an accessibility issue in the software please contact support with the element and the issue that you've identified, along with the URL of an example page. 

Finalsite Front-end Developer Code: The Javascript and CSS assets that style your site may have accessibility issues. Advanced presentation types, like custom slideshows could be more likely to contain accessibility issues compared to lists, as an example. These accessibility issues will need to be reviewed by a Finalsite front-end developer in a work order.

What to do next?

As you can imagine, remediating years of issues in website content can be an overwhelming task. Finalsite has partnered with AudioEye, a leader in digital accessibility, to offer managed accessibility services, the AudioEye Ally Toolbar. 

  • For any issues related to content, consider remediating using the AudioEye toolbar.  Please contact your client success manager for pricing and more information.  If you are having trouble determining how to resolve content issues, please review the accessibility section of our Knowledge Base and reach out to support via a ticket if necessary.
  • For issues where you have determined (or suspect) that the issue is related to Finalsite code, please reach out via a Support ticket with specific examples so that we can review and assess the errors and risks/warnings. We'll work with you to determine the course of action, which may include an accessibility work order. In this work order, Finalsite's front-end developers will use the AudioEye Digital Accessibility Platform (DAP), to scan and remediate the front-end issues, resolving the accessibility issues that are not related to content. 

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Kara Franco

As Finalsite's Product Education & Accessibility Specialist, Kara works to create educational content and training for schools and districts. She serves in areas of accessibility, product education and training. Kara is a member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and is working towards her Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) credentail. She is also an avid gardener, bird watcher and loves jazz and cats! 



Will Rickenback

Will, Finalsite's Delivery Quality Assurance and Accessibility Manager, spends his days guiding a team of quality assurance professionals to ensure that the websites that we create meet Finalsite's quality and accessibility standards. He also guides Finalsite's cross-functional accessibility committee, helping to coordinate accessibility initiatives across Finalsite's diverse teams. Along with chasing around two crazy preschool daughters, Will is working towards his Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) credential.

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