The internet is one of the most important resources of our time. We use it in lots of different ways including learning, connecting with others, shopping, accessing government resources, and a lot more. Sadly, there is a large group of people who are often excluded from getting the best experience on the internet; people with disabilities. In many cases, websites, apps, and online services are not built with accessibility in mind, leaving those living with temporary or permanent disabilities at a disadvantage. In this article, we will look beyond making the web easier to use for those living with disabilities by exploring additional reasons why web accessibility is critical.
A vast majority of those living with disabilities do not trust businesses and organizations who present barriers that make their lives harder, with poor website accessibility being one of these barriers. Because they are often ignored by many businesses, those living with disabilities choose to spend more money on businesses and organizations that remove these barriers and make their online experiences better.
Accessibility helps convert customers who would otherwise have been turned away by poor website accessibility. By improving website accessibility you let customers living with disabilities know that you understand and value them.
In the United States, accessibility requirements are mandated by law. The inclusion of accessibility standards into the Americans with Disabilities Act is due to lawsuits filed by individuals and groups fighting for the rights of those with disabilities. Businesses have been, and continue to be, sued for not making their websites, applications, and other online resources accessible.
A common barrier to accessibility, especially for larger websites and applications, has always been cost. However, there are different cost-effective solutions for businesses that want to improve accessibility. Solutions like accessiBe use AI and other automation tools to make your website more accessible and legally compliant. By using accessiBe, you also get a monthly accessibility report so you can remain compliant.
Companies that improve accessibility and embrace people living with disabilities benefit hugely from doing so. These efforts have a huge positive impact on their reputation and brand strength. They also create an image of care and social responsibility not only for their users living with disabilities, but for all their users.
Businesses also get the opportunity to implement new, helpful features when making their websites more accessible. For example, businesses can implement AI that describes images for blind users. This makes their product better, and further cements the fact that they care about people with disabilities.
Inaccessible websites and applications make it harder for users to access information on a website. This is especially true for websites that have complicated structures, tables, and multimedia content. Making these websites accessible increases access to this information for those living with a temporary or permanent disability.
With how important the internet has become, especially over the past year, businesses can no longer stand on the sideline; they need to make their websites accessible for all their users, including those living with disabilities.