ROI for Digital Accessibility
Seventy percent of the 500 corporate executives and web experts surveyed by AudioEye recently stated that “cost” was their top worry regarding digital accessibility. Many of the respondents also believed that in order to provide an accessible browsing experience, they would need to completely redesign their website.
Despite the fact that 1.3 billion people worldwide live with a disability, just 3% of the internet is accessible to those with disabilities. One reason for this is the perception of digital accessibility as a cost center without a clear fix.
In this article, I’ll go through three advantages of digital accessibility in an effort to convince you that it’s not just the right thing to do, but also a great economic opportunity.
A hand wielding a gavel over a human symbol is depicted in purple.
Three reasons to give digital accessibility top priority
The risk of breaking the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other accessibility laws is something that many company owners are aware of. A record number of legal actions relating to digital accessibility have been filed in recent years. More businesses are being served with lawsuits or demand letters for potential ADA breaches. And when that occurs, other company executives take notice.
Business leaders frequently overlook the opportunity that digital accessibility brings, whether it is expanding their client base, creating a more diverse workplace, or enhancing the browsing experience for all users, not to mention voice assistants and search engines.
1. Accessibility online is not an extreme situation.
Two stacks of money bills are shown. The income of individuals with disabilities is shown on the left as $1.9 trillion. The total income of their friends and relatives is shown on the right as almost $10 trillion.
The idea that digital accessibility is some kind of edge case is among the most common ones. In actuality, the largest minority in the US is made up of persons with disabilities.
One out of every four adults in the country has a disability. When transitory disabilities like broken limbs or short-term impairments following surgery or medical treatments are taken into account, the number increases even more.
Globally, persons with disabilities control $1.9 trillion in disposable income, according to the Global Economics of Disability 2020 research. When their friends and relatives are taken into account, the figure rises to nearly $10 trillion.
You can improve how well everyone can use your website and digital experiences by planning for accessibility.
2. Accessible design benefits all users.
Digital accessibility is really about getting rid of obstacles that can stop visitors from using your website.
You may ensure that everyone can interact with your digital material, regardless of age, handicap, or any other issue, by adhering to the best practices of accessible design.
For instance, the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Supplemental Guidance to WCAG 2 lists the following as best practices for content that is simple to understand:
Stay away from saying things like, “Time is not unlimited.”
using brief sentences with just one point each.
stating the main point or purpose at the beginning of a paragraph.
Use numbered or bulleted lists whenever possible.
These suggestions are meant to help persons with dyslexia and other learning difficulties by clearing up any confusion. However, it might also be a general writing best practice.
Every user can gain from using straightforward language that reduces friction and provides a clear next move. It’s the cornerstone of any conversion-optimized website, and it also happens to be consistent with accessible design best practices.
3. Discoverability is supported by digital accessibility
Additionally, accessibility and discoverability clearly overlap. For instance, webpages with clear, descriptive headers are simpler for search engines like Google to index. These are the same headings that make navigation and comprehension easier for persons with impairments.
There is substantial evidence that Google encourages accessibility when ranking webpages as a result. In fact, its Webmaster rules, which explain the recommended practices for assisting Google in finding, indexing, and ranking your website, are written in a manner reminiscent of WCAG and read like accessibility rules.
Users who access websites using voice search might also benefit from accessible websites. According to the Google Mobile Voice Study, voice search is used everyday by 41% of US adults and 55% of teenagers. Businesses that have voice search-optimized websites stand a better chance of being found and used by prospective clients.
Making the case for digital accessibility in the workplace
A picture of money bills is shown in front of a webpage.
Providing an inclusive experience to all website visitors should be the first objective of any digital accessibility program. Not only is it the moral thing to do, but it may also open up access to a previously underserved market.
The other advantage of creating an accessible website, which is higher conformity with accessibility standards like the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which are used to evaluate a site’s compliance with the ADA, should be noted, though.
Recent Department of Justice guidance makes it very clear that businesses of all sizes must adhere to WCAG accessibility guidelines in order to be in compliance with the ADA.
The cost of defending a digital accessibility lawsuit, or even just settling a demand letter, can frequently outweigh the cost of making your website accessible. This should be taken into account when calculating the return on investment for digital accessibility.
You may comply with the law and transform a necessity into an opportunity to expand your business and provide an inclusive experience to every client by adopting a more proactive approach to digital accessibility.
It’s important to track your advancement as you make investments in digital accessibility. Use a free accessibility checker to evaluate your website’s accessibility to get started, and then watch as it gets better as you apply accessible best practices.
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