With over one billion individuals worldwide being people with disabilities, the potential for businesses to unlock a significant return on investment in disability inclusion is vast. Website Accessibility provides a company with far more than financial gains.
Accessibility is not just a path to profit; it is a commitment to equal opportunities for all. Companies that prioritize equal access to information create a more diverse workforce-inclusive space to welcome consumers with any skill set.
Embracing accessibility opens the doors to fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and unique solutions. Making their digital products and offerings accessible to a broader audience gives companies more reach and optimized workflow, leading to an increased return on investment (ROI).
In an ideal scenario, businesses would ideally incorporate web accessibility and inclusivity at the inception of their website and software development. The surge in digital accessibility lawsuits under the ADA and the fact that 98% of U.S. websites do not comply with WCAG paint a different picture.
Inclusivity is the heart of accessible digital, audio, and video content. At ADA Site Compliance, we understand the complexities of web accessibility. We have a team of compliance experts ready to help your business prioritize website accessibility and, in the process, help improve your bottom line.
How Web Accessibility Improves Your Bottom Line
Web accessibility offers much more than financial gains. Here are nine reasons any business should prioritize web accessibility:
1. Elevate your brand with inclusivity
Web accessibility addresses diverse needs, catering to people with various limitations. Consumers today expect brands to embrace values like inclusivity. Prioritizing inclusivity ensures equal access to opportunities, improves lives, and thus enhances brand reputation.
Inclusivity humanizes your brand, resonates with a broader customer base, and creates a lasting, positive impression while future-proofing your business. It, in the process, fosters customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing.
2. Mitigating legal and reputational risks
Web complianceis not only a good practice but is also a legal requirement because non-compliance can lead to financial risks and multiple lawsuits. Considering the costs and legal risk of ignoring the decision is crucial.
Especially since governments and regulators have recently mandated laws requiring access to information from people with disabilities online and through mobile apps and phones.
3. Enhancing user experience and engagement
Adopting inclusive design principles and adhering to recognized accessibility standards provides a comprehensive range of services that support the needs of people with disabilities, resulting in positive engagement and increased conversions.
We help create a seamless and pleasant experience using the guidelines on accessibility for web content (WCAG 2.1) that help create more accessible sites with a user-friendly interface for all users.
It lets users easily navigate the site, encouraging more purchases and interactions within accessible websites. These guidelines assist designers in creating fully accessible digital environments.
4. Expanding your customer base
Accessible digital content connects with a vast market to increase website traffic, attract visitors, and make more income. According to WHO, 15% of people worldwide have some form of disability.
These disabilities may impact access to information resources and benefits from the Internet. Accessible websites tend to get much better search results and make it easy for potential disabled or blind customers to engage with the products and services. Research proves that people prefer doing business with compliant companies.
5. Driving innovation and differentiation
Incorporating accessibility into design fosters innovation, accessible design thinking, and flexible interactions. Accessible design benefits all users, and its broader reach eliminates architectural and digital barriers and potentially hampers innovation.
6. Ethical responsibility
Prioritizing accessibility is also a moral obligation to ensure full and equal enjoyment and access for all customers while contributing to a more inclusive environment and equitable society.
7. Competitive advantage accessibility standards
Accessible websites stand out in a crowded market, attracting a broader audience. Making content more accessible for one group can enhance readability and the ongoing accessibility problems for others.
8. Cost savings
Investing in an integrated accessibility program from the start leads to long-term cost savings. It prevents costly retrofitting and reduces user support costs while enhancing product quality. Mainstream technology benefits all employees and is more cost-effective and manageable than other assistive technologies or technology for specific accommodations.
Remember that accessibility benefits not only others but also your future self. As the inevitability of aging or unforeseen circumstances looms, making the world more accessible today is an investment in a more accessible future for all.
Enhanced Website Accessibility for All
Improving accessibility is not just about catering to disabilities. It is also about ensuring accessibility benefits all users by integrating accessibility with:
- Including video captions to benefit those with hearing impairments and enhance content understanding, increasing user engagement.
- Keyboard navigation to benefit those with motor impairments and multitaskers and improve user experience.
- Meeting color contrast guidelines to benefit those with vision issues and sun glare, thus enhancing usability.
- Simple navigation to benefit those with cognitive disabilities and all users seeking efficiency.
Focusing on accessibility not only expands your market but also enhances the overall user and customer experience and your bottom line.
Unusual Reasons to Prioritize Accessibility in Business
In addition to the obvious reasons and benefits of prioritizing web accessibility mentioned above, there are some unusual reasons to do so. For example:
- With time, web users of today will age. This leads to accessibility solutions to serve this growing population of older individuals who were once users without disabilities. This adaptability to changing demographics is often underestimated but crucial.
- Enhancing accessibility can also boost search engine optimization (SEO). It aligns technical aspects of search engines with content context, making the website more bot-friendly and thus improving indexing and rendering.
- Prioritizing accessibility can lead to innovation by creating products and solutions that benefit a broader user base. Involving individuals with disabilities in the design process can provide valuable insights and lead to user-friendly products and innovative solutions. Innovation benefits are seen most in video games, where accessibility features not only cater to people with disabilities but also introduce new ways for others with visual disabilities to interact with the game. It enhances the gaming experience for all players.
Overcoming Digital Accessibility Resistance
Resistance to accessibility initiatives is common, but it’s crucial to know how to address it. The main idea is the long-term benefits, such as increased loyalty, brand reputation, and cost savings. Here are a few ways to overcome accessibility resistance:
Accessibility is only a legal concern
False because compliance offers benefits beyond legal compliance. For example, it increases revenue, improves SEO, and gives better user experience and employee satisfaction.
Accessibility costs too much
There are indeed initial accessibility investments to bear. However, the avoidance of legal fees and reputation damage justifies these costs. A step-by-step implementation can also end up easing expenses.
We are too small to worry about accessibility standards
False. Size is not a factor and does not exempt businesses from accessibility concerns. Any firm, small or big, can be subjected to and face accessibility lawsuits.
No one has complained about our website
Not everyone complains after seeing an inaccessible website. Many users leave websites they cannot access without complaints. It will only affect your company’s reputation and sales.
We don’t serve anyone with a disability
Accessibility benefits a broader audience, addressing even people with less apparent disabilities. For example, users with age find some buttons too small to click on a website.
Accessibility is for blind or older people with disabilities
Accessibility considerations encompass various disabilities, catering to a wide range of users and not just for the blind and older people. It also relates to users with cognitive disabilities and those who want to watch a movie in a library.
We do not sell anything that a blind person uses
People with disabilities may be researching or shopping for others, emphasizing the need for accessibility.
Our site passes accessibility checkers
Automated checkers cover only a fraction of accessibility issues. A complete and thorough check requires additional manual human audits.
We had an audit and fixed our site
That is great! Improving accessibility everywhere is an ongoing process, requiring continuous legal, moral, and ethical monitoring and adjustments.
We will use an overlay
Overlays come with drawbacks like incomplete issue detection, poor usability, and security risks. A comprehensive approach is significantly more effective.
We will use a cheap plugin to conduct an audit
Plugins may not substitute an audit, as they do not conduct thorough audits.
Here are a few frequently asked questions and answers about how website accessibility improvements can improve your business case bottom line.
How would you improve the accessibility of your website?
Here are a few tips to screen readers to improve your website accessibility:
- Add alt text to images
- Use easy and accessible linked forms
- Create simple, accessible PDFs
- Let users enlarge the font size
- Provide captions, transcripts, or audio descriptions to improve audio-video content accessibility.
- Avoid blinking or flashing content or depending only on colors to convey information.
What is the business case for accessibility?
An accessibility business case includes reduced operational costs and risks, improved usability, a broader customer base and market share, and boosted brand value.
What is the case for web accessibility?
Web accessibility makes accessing and navigating websites easy for everyone, thus benefiting businesses by:
- Reaching a larger audience
- Improving usability and customer loyalty
- Reduce costs and lawsuit risks
How does improved accessibility on a website impact everyone?
Improved accessibility on a website can improve user experience and engagement with users and enhance user experience. It also improves the website’s SEO through reduced bounce rates and better visitor visits. There is an improvement in the company’s performance and brand image with more intuitive user experiences.
Do You Have An Accessible Website?
Accessibility is ethical and good for business, fostering loyalty, reputation, and cost savings. We all share the responsibility to promote accessibility, involving disabled individuals in design and staying updated on standards like WCAG.
As SEOs, developers, and consultants, we must prioritize accessibility in digital design and development. We at ADA Site Compliance understand the complexities of web accessibility. Our team of compliance experts is ready to help your business prioritize website accessibility and, in the process, help improve your bottom line. Contact us today for all your leading accessibility solutions and ADA website compliance needs.
Speak With An Expert Now
Have a question?
We’re always here to help.
The ADA prohibits any private businesses that provide goods or services to the public, referred to as “public accommodations,” from discriminating against those with disabilities. Federal courts have ruled that the ADA includes websites in the definition of public accommodation. As such, websites must offer auxiliary aids and services to low-vision, hearing-impaired, and physically disabled persons, in the same way a business facility must offer wheelchair ramps, braille signage, and sign language interpreters, among other forms of assistance.
All websites must be properly coded for use by electronic screen readers that read aloud to sight-impaired users the visual elements of a webpage. Additionally, all live and pre-recorded audio content must have synchronous captioning for hearing-impaired users.
Websites must accommodate hundreds of keyboard combinations, such as Ctrl + P to print, that people with disabilities depend on to navigate the Internet.
Litigation continues to increase substantially. All business and governmental entities are potential targets for lawsuits and demand letters. Recent actions by the Department of Justice targeting businesses with inaccessible websites will likely create a dramatic increase of litigation risk.
Big box retailer Target Corp. was ordered to pay $6 million – plus $3.7 million more in legal costs – to settle a landmark class action suit brought by the National Federation of the Blind. Other recent defendants in these cases have included McDonald’s, Carnival Cruise Lines, Netflix, Harvard University, Foot Locker, and the National Basketball Association (NBA). Along with these large companies, thousands of small businesses have been subject to ADA website litigation.
Defendants in ADA lawsuits typically pay plaintiff's legal fees, their own legal fees for defending the litigation, and potential additional costs. In all, the average cost can range from tens of thousands of dollars, to above six figures. There are also high intangible costs, such as added stress, time and human capital, as well as reputational damage. Furthermore, if the remediation is incomplete, copycat suits and serial filers can follow, meaning double or triple the outlay. It's vital to implement a long-term strategy for ensuring your website is accessible and legally compliant.