One of the benefits of accessibility is that if you build a web site that is accessible to text based browsers - the same style of browser that is used with a speech synthesizer, or braille reader, by the visually impaired - then you have also built a site that will be easily indexed by search engines.
For many websites, the path to accessibility can be a long and slow evolution. The W3C WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) defines 3 priority levels of accessibility in their Web Content Accessibility Guidelines priority checklist. The checklist is organised so that priority 1 items are the 'must'; priority 2 items are the 'should' and priority 3 items are the 'may'.
But - how can you tell if you have met the accessibility guidelines; or where your site is deficent? Here is a free, automated online accessibility testing tool, provided courtesy of Cynthia SaysTM portal and Hisoftware, which you can use as a guideline as to whether the accessibility requirements are being met. This automated test must only be used for non commercial purposes, as outlined in the Cynthia SaysTM terms and conditions. Automated accessibility reports often also require some additional manual testing. If you are in Australia, set the report mode to WCAG - Section 508 refers to the US legislation.
At Cogentis we understand the major issues associated with accessibility - and their implications for your human users and search engine spiders. One of the first steps in formulating a website marketing strategy is assessing the implications of your site design, and the technology deployed.
Our process is logical and cogent. Through our web-site analysis services, we can ensure that your site is accessible, and hasn't penalised itself in search engines, by its design and technology. Cogentis specialises in internet positioning services and strategies.
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