The WCAG, which stand for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, was created by the W3C who develop web standards. The Department of Justice (DOJ) wants to make these guidelines as a standard of making web content more useable for people with disabilities. What does this mean to a bank? Approximately, 15% of the world’s population live with some form of a disability. Which means that the WCAG is laying out a road map of how to build and design your bank site to reach and acquire new online and mobile customers.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990. It is a civil rights law which bans any discrimination against individuals, whether by race, color, national origin, sex, religion or age, allowing for equal opportunity across the board. In 2017, roughly 9/10 Americans adults use the internet which mean that the ADA’s reach will need to cover all walks of life including the web.

How are they doing this? W3C have developed guidelines, that the DOJ potentially wants to enforce as an ADA standard for accessible online and mobile design—WCAG 2.0, which not only lowers the risk of potential lawsuits for failure to comply within ADA standards, but also accesses a market which many financial institutions haven’t been able to attain. Although the WCAG 2.0 guidelines are not enforceable by the law, yet, it can still be implemented before the DOJ has the official ruling.

On a recent episode of my Bank On It Podcast Show, which airs every Tuesday morning, we spoke with Will Creedle, Director of Conformance for ZAG Interactive. Creedle gave great insight into how banks should think about the core of their site and ask questions such as; “What message am I trying to deliver?”, “Why would they come to my site?”, and “How could I improve the delivery of my message?” By using simple changes like Descriptive Alts, SR Only tags, and Natural/Liner Tabs, within the design with those factors in mind, they could make a world of a difference to someone who has a disability.

 

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