Deconstructing Accessibility Statements

Don’t read legal-ese? This will help you understand what accessibility statements actually say, and more importantly, why.

Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC

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Black oval eye glasses on an out-of-focus stack of paper
Photo by Mari Helin on Unsplash

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This is MY interpretation of accessibility statement legal-ese. I am not your lawyer. You need to make up your own mind. With your own lawyer. Who is not me.

I received the following question after writing an article called “10 things that indicate people have no clue about accessibility” where one of the “10 things” was the lack of an accessibility statement being indicative of “no clue.” It started with “I would like to start putting a11y statement on our sites and wonder whether this is okay”

We are actively working to ensure our sites are WCAG 2.0 AA-compliant.

Please contact us if you are facing accessibility issues when using our sites

In processing my answer to the questioner, I realized that I had the privilege of having been to law school which allows me to translate legal-ese into accessibility-ese (and vice-versa). So I told the questioner that I would write a comprehensive article rather than give them a quick two-sentence LinkedIn message about what should go into their accessibility statements.

Where should accessibility statements go?

The first question that needs to be asked and answered concerning accessibility statements is not what is in them, but where should they appear. Accessibility statements should always:

  1. have the shortest URL possible, something like:

foo.com/accessibility.ext

where foo.com is your domain and .ext is the extension of your default framework such as…

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Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC

LinkedIn Top Voice for Social Impact 2022. UX Collective Author of the Year 2020. Disability Inclusion SME. Sr Staff Accessibility Architect @ VMware.