Web accessibility, WCAG and ADA Compliance  for Umbraco

Umbraco is an open-source content management system platform that you can use for free to create and host websites. In addition, there’s a paid cloud-hosted version that is much easier to use, especially for business owners who are building their own websites.

The appeal of Umbraco for developers, marketers, or agencies is that it provides a clean slate for you to build a website the way you want it. For accessibility purposes, Umbraco isn't yet fully accessible out the box, and there aren't many pre-built tools built into the system to support accessible design or pre-built accessible themes and templates.

Umbraco is, however, a flexible system and it allows you to implement third-party tools or hire third-party services to remediate your website into compliance. With Umbraco, you also have full access to the source code, so you definitely can make your Umbraco website accessible manually by following WCAG 2.1 AA. Note that the process of meticulously implementing all WCAG guidelines is challenging for even the most experienced developer.

Although accessibility-related issues often appear on Umbraco forums, Umbraco did assemble an accessibility team, made up of developers in their community, and there is good progress being made.

There are accessibility experts, in-house and outsourced, that work with Umbraco users to remediate websites manually. The problem with manual remediation is that it can still take a few weeks to a few months to complete, and doesn’t maintain WCAG compliance. This means that every change you make to your site will have to be adjusted manually. You’re also looking at a few thousand dollars of work for manual accessibility remediation.

The importance of an accessible Umbraco website

These days, everything happens online. As more goods and services, entertainment, education, and so on occur on the Internet, people with disabilities are eager to access more websites. If you have an inaccessible website, the chances are higher that you’ll lose customers, followers, or brand reputation by closing your website to people with disabilities who want to interact with your content.

In many cases, you could get sued for having an inaccessible website. Since the 2018 DOJ affirmation that all websites are considered places of public accommodations and must be compliant with the ADA according to the WCAG 2.1 AA, web accessibility lawsuits have tripled. 

Using accessiBe with Umbraco

with accessiBe, you don’t have to choose between beauty and accessibility. accessiBe’s AI-driven, automated solution makes existing websites ADA compliant by remediating the website’s code according to the WCAG 2.1 AA. accessiBe’s solution is session-based, meaning only those with disabilities will see adjusted design elements, leaving your design completely intact.

For an accessiBe installation guide with Umbraco, click here.