Got around 100 words to spare
That’s enough to craft a functional website accessibility statement, which is a must-have.
If you’re putting in work toward ADA web compliance—which you absolutely should be—you need customer-facing information about it.
So here’s everything about creating your own, including why it’s important in the first place. We’ve even got some great website accessibility statement examples and a free downloadable website accessibility template.
What Is an Accessibility Statement?
A website accessibility statement is content that communicates to visitors of your website that you’re committed to web accessibility and what accessibility standard your website meets.
Why Have a Website Accessibility Statement?
Website accessibility statements exist for two primary reasons.
The first is to show users that you’re committed to accessibility. It communicates that accessibility drives your online presence. Knowing that is important for potential customers.
Why is digital accessibility important? Modern consumers often want to interact with businesses that share their values. The rise of QR codes on food is a great example of this. A web accessibility statement is an effective signal to customers who value a company’s social responsibility initiatives. It also tells the over 60 million Americans with disabilities that they can expect the same level of access as anyone else.
Second, it lays out the proof of your site’s accessibility and its areas of opportunity. That means it provides specific information about the web accessibility standard your site meets, along with sections of your site that may still have some accessibility issues.
Another less common reason that website accessibility statements exist is that they may be required by law. Here are some applicable web accessibility policies that may help you identify what laws, if any, apply to you.
ADA Website Accessibility Statement
It’s not necessary to craft a specific ADA website accessibility statement. Whether or not a website is ADA compliant is based on what technical web accessibility standards it adheres to. Your accessibility statement should state the technical guidelines you follow (like the WCAG), not the law that mandates you do so (the ADA).
What Goes In a Website Accessibility Statement?
There are a few things a website accessibility statement must have. And there are a few things that are nice to have but are ultimately optional.
Website Accessibility Statement: Bare Minimum
The bare minimum included in a website accessibility statement are:
- Your commitment to web accessibility
- The applied technical accessibility standard, like WCAG 2.1 AA
Website Accessibility Statement: Ideal Additions
In addition to your commitment and the technical standard you follow, the addition of the following pieces of information are ideal:
- What methods and measures your company took to achieve the above stated accessibility standard
- Any technical limitations or requirements on the user’s side. The supported web browsers, for example.
- Any areas of opportunity where your site currently fails to meet the above stated accessibility standard and how you plan remedy that
- Testing environments where your site was shown to pass accessibility standards
- References to relevant local, state, or federal laws
- How to contact you for support
Let’s take a look at two web accessibility statement examples, one short and one longer.
Web Accessibility Statement Examples
Here’s a short web accessibility statement example from AirBNB’s website that hits the bare minimum:
Note that they declare a commitment to digital accessibility and reference the specific guidelines they follow. But that’s about it.
Now here is a detailed website accessibility statement example from the National Gallery of Art. Notice that it covers a lot of what we listed above.
Web Accessibility Statement Best Practices
Two things to keep in mind as you craft and publish a website accessibility statement is the language used and the location it’s placed.
Keep the Language Simple
Your website accessibility statement is not a technical manifesto or a legal defense. It’s for visitors to use. Avoid the temptation of using big words to discuss what feels like complicated subject matter.
Lawyers won’t be poring over your accessibility statements to determine your compliance with ADA website law. Unless, of course, you’re required by law to have an accessibility statement. But few organizations are. It’s your website’s code that matters in front of the law, not what you say about it. To get a handle on your code, here’s how to check if a website is ADA compliant (hint: a website accessibility checker helps), along with how to make websites ADA compliant.
Instead of saying “WCAG 2.1.4 success criterion unmet,” say that your site doesn’t currently have keyboard shortcuts implemented. Use simple language intended for the average internet user.
Make It Easy to Find
This is in theme with your website accessibility statement being useful to visitors. The easier it is to find, the easier it is to use.
To help your users easily track down your accessibility statement:
- Link to it from multiple places, like the Help and About pages, the footer, and anywhere else that makes sense.
- Refer to it consistently across your site. If every time it’s mentioned and linked to it’s called the same thing, it’s easier to get to. If you call it your “accessibility statement” in the footer, use that same phrase everywhere else.
Accessibility Statement Template
Here’s a downloadable accessibility statement template. All caps with underscores LIKE_THIS should be removed and/or replaced with your own words. And all parentheses are only examples and should be removed.
Remember that, at the bare minimum, you need the initial statement of purpose and what technical standard you’re following. The rest is ideal, but not required. We created the above accessibility statement template with W3C’s accessibility statement generator.
Website Accessibility Statement: ✅
One thing you may have noticed about website accessibility statements is that they often include where your site doesn’t stack up. Or what you’re continually doing to maintain ADA-compliant web and PDF accessibility.
The takeaway from that is that achieving legally-compliant web accessibility is hard. It’s an ongoing process that takes time and costs money. Neither ADA remediation or 508 remediation are cheap. But it’s a legal necessity and you’ll be risking a lot more money if you don’t do it.
It’s easier for bars and restaurants, though. Even though ADA lawsuits disproportionately target the hospitality industry, there’s a simple, affordable option to lessen the risk dramatically. It’s partnering with a technology that creates ADA-compliant digital menus.
That’s what SproutQR does. Our WCAG 2.1 AA-compliant QR code menu turns what is typically a massive risk for bars and restaurants—inaccessible digital menus—into an asset. Legal liability becomes a lightweight, hygienic, touchless, and legally compliant QR code-based digital menu. You get all the benefits of QR codes (like QR code marketing and QR code tracking) with none of the legal hazards of digital menus.
Book a demo and we’ll show you how it’s done.