The process of making websites accessible to users with all disabilities and limitations, including those with visual, hearing, physical, verbal, cognitive, and neurological challenges, is known as website accessibility.
Businesses can expand their potential client base and ensure everyone can visit their website by following website accessibility guidelines and ensuring their online material is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Fortunately, many website accessibility tools have entered the market over the past years. Yet, not all are of equal quality. Explore some of the best accessibility tools.
And if you are still not convinced why you need to make your website accessible, let’s cover its importance.
Better user experience
Websites that are accessible are simpler to use for everyone, including users with and without disabilities, and improve the whole user experience for both groups.
For example, videos with captions and transcripts help viewers with hearing problems and those who struggle to understand accents, are in noisy locations or are not native speakers of the language.
Therefore, improving the user experience will increase user satisfaction, customer loyalty, and a favourable reputation for your business.
More Web Traffic and Sales
People with disabilities represent a mostly emerging market with a spending power of over $220 billion, according to research by the National Association on Disability.
If inaccessible to people with disabilities, your webpage will lose money and traffic. Statistics show that the accessibility barrier costs the American economy $225 billion monthly.
Users will eventually leave inaccessible websites by clicking away and directing their money to other places. There is, therefore, strong evidence that expanding a company’s reach online and offline should enhance income.
Despite this, less than 15% of companies have a specific plan to tap into the market for people with disabilities. So, hop on the trend sooner, get the most benefits, and gain a competitive advantage over your rivals.
Compliance with legal requirements
Nowadays, the law requires businesses and service providers to treat disabled persons equally. Therefore, companies must comply with national and international norms and guidelines to avoid legal action.
Many countries have different legal accessibility requirements from companies. Here are some of the cases:
- US. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which demands that businesses offer modifications for impaired people with specific reference to web accessibility, is one of several federal laws that regulate web accessibility requirements.
- UK. Under the Equality Act of 2011, service providers must take into account “reasonable adaptations” for people with disabilities online. Additionally, the final deadline for all public sector organizations to comply with the new accessibility requirements for public sector apps and websites passed in 2022. Additional requirements for private sector compliance are anticipated to come in 2023.
- EU. All companies engaged in e-commerce must comply with the European Accessibility Act’s minimal accessibility standards.
- Worldwide. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) were created to offer a set of guiding principles and minimal requirements to satisfy customers’ demands worldwide. These recommendations specify how to make information more accessible for people with disabilities, and they serve as the baseline standard for businesses around the globe.
With these standards emerging around the globe, website accessibility is a must-have. Consequently, not making your website accessible may subject you to financial disaster and reputational damage.
Improved website SEO
Web accessibility can also have SEO advantages, as search engines like Google may prioritize websites suitable for persons with disabilities in their search results. Again, it’s because search engines seek to offer their users the most outstanding possible customer experience, and accessible websites improve the user experience for all visitors, including those with limitations.
Moreover, enhancing your website’s accessibility can make it more user-friendly and easier to navigate, which has a good effect on your SEO.
While it might not be reasonable to expect the general opinion of web accessibility to change and improve overnight, businesses must understand that it is a complicated and broad topic that affects all elements of human behaviour on the internet.
Furthermore, when your website has been developed, it’s crucial to regularly check for accessibility issues and make any adjustments. You may quickly address any issues by regularly testing the website with accessibility tools to identify them early. By doing this, you can be confident that your website complies with accessibility requirements and is still available to all people.
David Radar, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.