Why Digital Accessibility is Crucial for Business Success
By Prachi Randhawa
December 3rd is celebrated the world over as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The purpose is to encourage a dialogue of understanding around disability, increase awareness, and drive inclusion across the political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of life.
As we all know, not all disabilities are visible. They can vary from physical, emotional, cognitive, sensory, and developmental to situational (such as a broken arm) and have major impacts on quality of life.
In the last two years, COVID-19 has changed the ways we work and live in so many ways. We’ve adapted to remote work, telehealth services, digital events, etc. And while new software has allowed us to do more, digital inclusion became top of mind because dependency on online platforms and IoT devices grew phenomenally.
61 million adults in the US live with a disability and when we look at it on a global scale, that number grows to 1 billion. Yes, 1 billion people.
This push to go digital changed the way we think about accessible design and development to ensure the digital experiences we provide are inclusive of all.
Being inclusive is no longer a choice, it’s crucial on not only a business level but a human one. The importance of using empathy as a way to improve business isn’t new, but the pandemic did speed up the process.
What if my website isn’t compliant?
Most countries have laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the US, Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 in the UK, and Standard on Web Accessibility in Canada which make it mandatory for websites to be accessible. A side effect of these policies has been an increase in digital lawsuits.
The US, which had approximately 2,300 accessibility lawsuits in 2018, is expected to have over 4,100 lawsuits in 2021.
As we see a lot of large enterprises committing to accessibility to avoid these legal overheads and lawsuits, the key driver for this commitment should really be making accessibility a part of your culture and a genuine business growth opportunity.
According to the World Wide Web Consortium, “Studies show that accessible websites have better search results, reduced maintenance costs, and increased audience reach, among other benefits.”
The Click Away Pound survey from 2016 found that over 4 million people abandoned a retail website due to accessibility barriers. This resulted in an estimated loss in business that totaled a net worth of £11.75 billion. That’s not all, in 2019, that loss increased to £17.1 billion.
These numbers mean one thing – you’re not adjusting to your clients’ needs. There is an audience who wants to buy your products and services but is unable to do so because the content has not been made accessible. In the coming years, to ensure you are future-ready, the focus will be on promoting digitally via digital inclusion.
At Content Bloom we work towards enabling digital accessibility for all our clients, with a focus on end customers and the employees who leverage organizational content management systems.
How to support your digital accessibility goals
It’s really about asking the hard questions.
For instance, how can businesses enable accessibility while simultaneously maintaining brand experience, strategy, and design? While this might sound like a complex problem, it doesn’t have to be. The key is in understanding the intricacies.
Our team focuses heavily on co-creating solutions in partnership with our clients to help them navigate the change so they and their customers can have a successful and sustainable journey.
To learn more about how we expand awareness, embed strategy, enable processes, measure effectiveness, and deliver continuous evolution on our clients’ accessibility enablement journeys subscribe to our newsletter or contact us.
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