Editor's Note: This post was originally published September 7, 2017 and has recently been updated and revised for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
A stunning 70-plus percent of users with disabilities are unable to complete online transactions due to a lack of accessibility standards on a majority of websites. This is despite the clear growth of that population and the increasingly apparent moral and economic imperatives to accommodate it.
Poor accessibility and usability can turn the simplest of transactions into an endless ordeal. Businesses that turn a blind eye to these issues risk leaving revenue on the table and alienating a powerful customer base.
4 Reasons Why Websites Struggle to Provide Access
All companies bear the responsibility to provide their online services to people of all abilities. This requires organizations to change their internal culture, and many encounter barriers to doing so:
The task feels overwhelming. For sites with many pages that each include multiple images, interactive media, and other functionality, an accessibility overhaul can seem like a steep mountain to climb.
It’s too expensive. For many companies, website accessibility is a new initiative, and there are costs to that in time, labor, and technology that haven’t been budgeted.
It takes too long. Make no mistake: It will take time to test, audit, fix, and verify. Then the process starts over every time the site is updated. Agile development can help facilitate these cycles.
They don’t have the in-house expertise. Development, Quality Assurance, E-Commerce and Marketing are just a few of the departments that will have to retrain, adjust, or even overhaul their processes in order to accommodate accessibility. Outside expertise may also be necessary.
Dynamic, Remediation Provides a Path to Accessibility
Considering the reasons listed above, the W3C acknowledges that website accessibility and compliance are not easy initiatives to implement, particularly across a large organization. Dynamic remediation can be an effective and efficient solution to this problem.
Just as the mobile version of a website mirrors the look and functionality of a desktop site but is optimized for that platform, dynamic remediation establishes a layer of accessibility that sits on top of a traditional website like a thin layer of colored glass over a sheet of paper.
With this tool in place, any changes made to your site will be reflected in the accessible view, maintaining WCAG 2.0 or 2.1 AA compliance at all times. Your accessibility developers have full access to the code.
UsableNet Assistive Can Help
UsableNet’s Assistive technology provides dynamic remediation to ensure WCAG conformance and improves website accessibility for all users. Assistive is a fully managed service that requires no IT resources. Our developers can help transition your site from outdated to fully accessible in just weeks, and our user testers are daily users of assistive technology.
Watch and see how our unique solution can help your teams quickly make your website accessible to users of all abilities:
Your users and legal team will agree, accessibility can’t wait. Don’t file it away for later, sign up now for your free consultation.
Jason Taylor is the Chief Innovation Strategist and Special Advisor to the Usablenet CEO with over 20 years of technology, usability and accessibility experience. He is a global technology thought leader for multichannel customer engagement, actively advising leading companies on how to extend their brands across multiple channels for all users.