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    How Digital Accessibility Increases Value for your Agency

    by UsableNet
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    The newest data on digital accessibility lawsuits shows that if your agency isn’t offering accessibility in 2021– you may be missing out.

    Web accessibility offers an opportunity to grow your revenue while providing significant value for your clients. 

    Accessibility lawsuits rose again in 2020, more than 20% compared to 2019.
     
    If you are are a digital agency, especially one that works with retailers, it only makes sense for you to consider offering digital accessibility services. 
     
    In an average week in 2020, more than 100 companies receive ADA based digital lawsuits. Helping your clients avoid lawsuits helps to improve the experience of the end user.
     
    → Download the full report on digital accessibility lawsuits in 2020 here.  

    How does digital accessibility help the end-user?

    It's very likely that your clients have customers with disabilities. People with disabilities make up around 26% of adults in America. That's a quarter of the population.
     
    People with disabilities may have conditions that may make it hard for them to use websites and apps. But this user persona should considered when developing and testing digital content.
     

    Best Practices for Web Accessibility

    Your clients rely on you to not only produce quality websites and apps. They also need you to point them in the right direction with best practices.
     
    You'll want to stay away from widgets and overlays when exploring digital accessibility. Data shows these quick fixes do not prevent lawsuits.
     
    Image Description: Webpage design reads “Lawsuits filed against companies using overlays or widgets for accessibility reach one-a-day by end of 2020.” Bar chart shows the number of lawsuits against companies with widgets and overlays from July through December 2020. July had 18 cases, August had 27, September had 25, October had 32, November had 29, and December had 47.   Text reads: More than 250 lawsuits were filed in 2020 against companies using widgets or overlays as an accessibility solution for their websites. The last 6 months of 2020 shows a significant increase in cases filed with the rate eclipsing more than one a day.
     
    There were 250 lawsuits in the past 6 months. ADA defense attorneys have written about how these overlay companies are modern day snake-oil salesman.
     
    Widgets and overlays also don't improve the experience for users with disabilities.
     
    Leaders in the disability community has written about why these AI-driven accessibility quick fixes don't work. In fact, overlays make it harder for blind people and other users of assistive technology to use a website.
     

    How do you get started with improving the app experience and web accessibility?

    1. Start by taking note of the public facing digital channels and content. This includes websites, mobile apps, video, and PDFs. Focus on public facing channels and content.
    2. A person with visual disabilities should test these channels. Employing a blind user to test content will help you figure out how accessible your content is. Using testers from the disability community will show you where to focus first.
    3. Remediation is the next step. Create a plan for that includes timeline and the costs. A typical price for a remediation plan is between 15% - 25% of the original build cost.
    4. Retest the remediation plan. This ensures that the website or app is accessible and verified. It can be helpful to bring in a blind user again at this step.
    5. Monitoring and documentation will ensure that their website stays accessible. This way, your clients are always moving in the right direction.

    → Read how to build a complete Accessibility Testing Program in our free guide. 

     

    Digital Accessibility will help your client’s brand

    An accessible website design for clients also help to build their brand.
     
    A comprehensive accessibility plan can help your clients increase their sales sales and make connections with valuable new customers. 
     
    Offering web accessibility also can bring a more human side of your company to light, one that you "walk-the-walk" and care about inclusion. 
     

    Digital Accessibility will help you win and keep more clients

    Digital agencies, like many other businesses, have faced challenges in 2020.
     
    Accessibility may be the differentiator you need for 2021. Given the demand being generated by the legal landscape, your clients may already be thinking about accessibility.
     
    Offering accessibility services can increase your revenue not just from more billable hours but by generating projects for design, development and QA that will benefit your clients' end users. These projects are not profitable for you. They help your clients reach a wider audience. 
     
    Nowadays, companies are always in the public eye. Your clients included. Their customers are likely to want to buy from brands that engage in social and environmental issues.
     
    UsableNet offers partner programs that are designed to help your agency increase revenue while you help advise clients on today's best web accessibility practices. Contact us to learn more.
     

    Get started now.

    With digital accessibility, it's always better to be proactive.
     
    You can add value to your existing clients' website and attract new clients by making digital accessibility a key differentiator for your agency.
     

    To learn more about inclusive design and other web and app accessibility topics, check out our Roadmap to Digital Inclusion.

     
    Free Guide: Web and App Accessibility: Your Roadmap to Digital Inclusion Download Now
     

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