The Business Imperative of Web Accessibility

By Jeff Adams, Accessibility Operations Director, UsableNet on Sep 6, 2023
Topics: Web Accessibility, Accessibility-First Culture

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Let's explore ways a business can benefit from creating a sustainable accessibility program. You can add these to your talking points to build accessibility champions in your organization. 

Investing in Accessibility Has Returns 

Yes, there is an investment to be made in accessibility. Doing remediation incurs costs, but these costs decrease over time as accessibility becomes a regular part of the workflow. Of course, if you're building accessible digital properties from the start, such as during a redesign, you're controlling your costs since you won't have to retrofit later. 

You can and should view any cost as an investment in the company's accessible future. When you make your website, app, email marketing message, or social media post accessible to the broadest possible audience, you can significantly impact your brand. 

→ Assess Your Site’s Accessibility

Accessibility Expands Your Potential Reach 

Between 1-in-4 and 1-in-6 people live with some form of permanent disability. If you also consider those who may have a temporary (e.g., a broken arm), situational (e.g., hands are full), or episodic (e.g., an arthritis flareup) disability, the number of people, in a given moment, is thought to be between 1-in-2 and 1-in-3. That's many people. Consider these numbers against your web analytics for even a single hour. How many visitors did you have? What's 25% of that number? What's 50%? Did your site or app make all those people feel welcome and included?  

Inclusion Creates Loyalty 

The fact is that members of the disabled community face inaccessible digital properties every day. When they find a site or app that offers what they need, and it's accessible, they tend to become loyal. And, more often than not, they'll tell their friends and family, too. You should do everything possible to ensure your organization leads the way for accessibility within your niche so you're not turning away potential customers. 

Creating the Sustainable Accessibility Program Sets the Stage  

Moving to an accessibility-first mindset across an organization takes time. But, as you progress, it becomes effortless and part of the shared responsibility. It's important to share the success, too. Don't just quietly tick off the accomplishments. Celebrate it in the company as its achievement, which can help ensure the momentum continues toward sustainability.  

Related Reading: How to Build an Accessibility-First Company Culture [Blog]

Digital Inclusion Drives Workforce Diversity 

Beyond the potential to increase revenue, digital accessibility and inclusion can bring other advantages, especially in creating a diverse and inclusive workforce when companies foster an environment where everyone feels respected and able to contribute fully, the organization benefits, as do its customers.  

Partnerships Cultivate Success 

You can partner inside and outside an organization as you do accessibility work. At the start of the journey, you'll likely partner with external experts to identify what needs to be done through audits, testing, and education.

By building your accessibility expertise, you can establish a center of excellence or community of practice to provide accessibility information to others in your organization, which drives more partnerships. You might even decide to speak at conferences or otherwise spread the word about how your company has become more accessible, which can inspire others to do the same.  

Editor's Note: This is the 5th post in our 6-part series written by Jeff Adams, Accessibility Operations Director, on advocating digital accessibility within your company.

For more insights like this, check out this free on-demand webinar featuring the author, Jeff Adams, How to Create a Culture of Digital Accessibility. Watch now.

In case you missed them, you can click through to read Jeff's most recent posts. "Advocating for Digital Accessibility: Using Examples to Drive Change and Breaking Down Common Accessibility Myths: What You Need to Know

 

Jeff Adams, Accessibility Operations Director, UsableNet

Jeff Adams, Accessibility Operations Director, UsableNet

Jeff is UsableNet’s director of accessibility operations and advices companies around the world on best practices in website accessibility, and integrating accessibility into their processes. He’s been with UsableNet for more than a decade and is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals. In addition, Jeff’s a creative entrepreneur and co-wrote the book, “Content for Everyone: A Practical Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs to Produce Accessible and Usable Web Content.”

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