What If Your Website Can’t Afford Digital Accessibility?
There are set guidelines and laws that instruct you to make accessibility mandatory for your web content so that you can improve the user experience of your audience, especially people with disabilities. Many free tools and information can help your organization ensure that your web content and digital products are accessible and compliant as required.
What is digital accessibility?
Digital accessibility is the ability of a website, digital products and services to be easily navigated, consumed, and understood by a wide range of your consumers, especially people with physical disabilities and cognitive disorders. Web accessibility is all about providing your users access to the same information, content for your website and digital product regardless of the impairments and disabilities they might be facing.
The United Nations has classified digital accessibility as a fundamental human right where the web should be accessible to everyone looking to participate and interact with your content. This right should be respected and adopted by every organization with a digital presence. As a company, you should recognize how essential the web has become to the modern world, especially to your business. Making sure that your content is accessible shows your commitment to servicing all your users without discrimination or favoritism. Good usability improves the digital experience for your users, which will impact your business and organization positively by increasing your revenue and boosting your brand online.
The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international group that has set up guidelines to make digital content accessible to everyone.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) serves as a set guidelines and standards for digital accessibility requirements for all web content and digital assets. Every asset online should be created under strict guidance of these guidelines. Digital accessibility standards are all about social inclusivity and improved user experience of everyone regarding any digital product that ensures that each person’s rights are respected despite their physical disability or disorder.
Digital accessibility is the future investment.
Today’s lives depend on the web, digital access, and devices that integrate the internet into our daily activities and tasks. The internet’s essential role in our lives means that accessibility must be included in the digital world without question. Accessibility means the ease of interaction and access of any web content for everyone, especially people with physical disabilities and disorders. Digital accessibility is the future investment of any business, supporting companies in their service provision and serving their clients. The disabled people form a significant percentage of the world, and they deserve to be recognized, valued and serviced accordingly without discrimination, especially when it comes to web content access. There are legal repercussions that come with a business ignoring the set standards and guidelines on digital accessibility. Any organization that ignores the set standards can suffer legal actions. Any business looking at scaling and expanding should ensure that its web content and products comply with the set standards.
Digital availability is prescribed by law.
The law is clear regarding digital accessibility. Section 508 of the Rehabilitative Act of 1973 requires all federal agencies to make electronic information technology and products accessible to people with disabilities with discrimination.
Web accessibility aims to address visual, mobility, auditory, seizures and cognitive and intellectual disorders in individuals without bias to the rest of the users.
WCAG accessibility is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines developed to provide a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs and requirements of individuals, organizations without discrimination. WCAG document explains how you can make your web content more accessible to individuals with disabilities by including natural information like texts, images and sounds.
ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act refers to a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against anyone based on disabilities, gender, race or religion.
Statistics have shown that over 61 million people who live with disabilities globally spend trillions of dollars, making them a group that should be factored in when designing any digital product and providing access.
The growth of internet usage in everyday life and activities has led to countries worldwide addressing digital access to individuals through legislation. The law protects the access to websites for people with disabilities through the set guidelines and acts like ADA and WCAG to ensure that there is no discrimination. Compliance with web accessibility guidelines has been made legal and mandatory globally.
Countries can support and adopt the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) by referring to the set guidelines in their legislation. WCAG compliance checking should be performed on all websites worldwide.
As an organization, if your website is inaccessible to people with disabilities, you will need to redesign your website as per the set guidelines, incur additional costs and damages that might include attorney fees and lawsuits.
The purpose of these laws is to create an all-inclusive website from the beginning because as much as there is no apparent consequences if your website is not compliant with the guidelines, the benefits of an all-inclusive website cannot be ignored.
Tools that can help you
Some tools can help you determine if your web content meets the set accessibility guidelines. Web-based accessibility evaluation tools and software comes in handy at ensuring that your website meets the required status to serve every individual with ease.
These tools are supposed to address different physical disabilities and disorders that an individual using the web might have. Such impairments include visual impairments, hearing disabilities, learning disabilities and cognitive impairments.
Adapt the use of ada checker tools to help you determine if your website and content are compliant with the set guidelines and laws.
Allydev is a tool that every digital creator needs when developing digital products with accessibility in mind. This fantastic tool is safe to debug, audit, update, and maintain your digital assets, making your web content accessible to users, especially those with disabilities.
Allydev has a free starter plan which is ideal for testing and gets familiar with the software. There are three more affordable packages where you are free to choose what works for you.
Allyaudit is another tool that is powered by artificial intelligence and understands that digital accessibility is how your customers interact with your digital products and assets.
This tool provides scanning and auditing of any potential issues to ensure that you are compliant with the set guidelines while providing the most beneficial, inclusive and effective end-user experience to your customers.
Allyaudit has the capability of adjusting and scanning each user and situation. This tool can check the end-user experience based on the device they used, the browser they access, their location, permissions and public pages in real-time.
Allyaudit has flexible payment plans, including a free starter plan that you can subscribe to start enjoying the benefits of your web content.
There is a possibility of a lawsuit, tarnishing your brand name and additional costs for rebuilding your website if your website is not ADA compliant.
Yes, if a person with a disability feels discriminated against and cannot access your website.
As an organization, you can increase your digital accessibility standards and information by choosing your content management according to the set standards by WCAG. Use tags for your images, structure your headers to enable easy access to information online, add descriptive text and use your colors with conditions like color blindness and eyesight disabilities in mind.
Digital accessibility for your business is an investment that you should be ready to make to maximize your content and provide a fulfilling end-user experience that your audience will enjoy. In case of the inability to afford digital accessibility because of financial constraints, there are affordable and accessibility tools that can help you check and make sure that your website is compliant with the authority’s set standards and guidelines.