The P.O.U.R. Principles
As complex as the WCAG is upon quick perusal, it is guided by only 4 principles that are easy to keep in mind. According to the WCAG, a web page must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. A violation of any one of these four principles constitutes a violation of the guidelines as a whole.
This is particularly sensitive to the limitations of persons with visual and auditory impairments. This principle means that text must adhere to particular sizes and contrasts and that images must be accompanied by alt text, where alt text is a simple description of what you can see in the photo. The perceivable principle is the same one that requires closed captioning for videos in consideration of persons with hearing disabilities.
An accessible website is one that can be easily navigated even with just the use of keyboard commands. Websites must include options for people who might not be able to use a computer due to loss of extremities or other reasons.
Even if a website is perceivable, if its content cannot be easily comprehended by a user no matter the background, it is also deemed inaccessible.
Since there are various devices we now use to browse the internet, web developers and administrators must become sensitive to how it will be perceived across all devices and operating systems. Pages must especially be accommodating to users who will make use of assistive technologies like screen readers to navigate their way.
The ADA and your logo
Your business logo is the visual representation of your brand in the minds of consumers. Since it is something visual, it must be able to address the limitations of individuals with seeing disabilities.
Sometimes, logos come with text, as in the company’s name. Otherwise, it is composed completely of an image. Since it is important for any media on a website to be perceivable by a user, it begs wondering if the image must be manipulated so that it is easier on the eyes of anyone who sees it. However, the WCAG 2.1 has this to say about logos that include words, “Text that is part of a logo or brand name has no contrast requirement.” This is good news for business owners who are concerned about altering their logos to suit the guidelines. It is important to note though that because a logo is still an image that must be comprehended by all users, it must be accompanied by alt text.
Putting your best foot forward
While you might not be feeling its necessity for your business website just yet, ADA compliance is not optional. It is the law. It can be the last remaining door you need to open to welcome a big chunk of the market you have been missing.
If you are only in the process of creating your company logo, this is a good time to take note of the ADA’s principles especially if you plan to put up a webpage. While a lawsuit due to an inaccessible company logo is rare and almost unheard of at this time, it will still be advantageous to you as a business owner if you are able to make your logo comprehensible to all users. This might mean making your logo less complex and with fewer details. This can also make you decide to permanently include your business name in the logo to ensure its mention on all alt text for better branding. It will be completely up to you. What matters is that we are taking the ADA’s principles to heart regardless of the absence of prior complaints.