Website accessibility and digital inclusion is not only a topic you should care about, it’s also a good business opportunity for your company. From SEO to increased sales to better website performance, the list goes on.
What is Website Accessibility & ADA Compliance?
Website Accessibility is the practice of designing and developing websites, mobile apps, website widgets and SaaS in ways that are usable by everyone, regardless of ability.. ADA compliance is the legal requirement for businesses & organizations to ensure that their digital properties are accessible to people with disabilities, as mandated by Title III of the ADA. And in lieu of clear standards from the Department of Justice, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as the de facto standard for ADA compliance was established.
Why You Should Care About Web Accessibility & ADA Compliance
There are many reasons why you should care about website accessibility and ADA compliance. Here are some of the most important ones:
It’s the Right Thing To Do
Website accessibility is a human right. By making your website or app accessible, you are respecting the dignity, equality, and inclusion of people with disabilities as well as Seniors. You are also demonstrating your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), which is increasingly important in our society.
It’s Good for SEO
Website accessibility and SEO (search engine optimization) go hand in hand. Many of the best practices for making your website ADA compliant will also improve its ranking on search engines. For example, using clear headings, alt text, captions, labels, and semantic markup helps both people with disabilities and search engines understand your content better. By following the WCAG you can boost your SEO performance and reach more potential customers.
It’s Good for Usability and Customer Satisfaction for All
Website accessibility enhances the user experience. By making your website or app easy to use, navigate, understand, and interact with, you can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
It’s Good for Expanding Sales and Customer Reach
The facts are: 61M people have a disability in the US. There are 71M Baby Boomers who carry $548B in discretionary spending. Whether they declare themselves as such or not, anyone who lives long enough will experience the same challenges with vision, hearing, cognition and motor skills. Not being ADA compliant is leaving money on the table.
It’s Good for Legal Protection
Website accessibility is not only a moral obligation . . . it’s also a legal one. The number of web-related ADA lawsuits rise every year. With more than 96% of websites failing WCAG conformity, it is easy for lpeople to make money flooding businesses with demand letters, and state and federal lawsuits. In addition, your business can be sued multiple times.
The Bottom Line
The U.S. Department of Justice has interpreted Title III of the ADA to include websites as places of public accommodation. This means that businesses and organizations are required to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities. Failure to do so exposes you to costly litigation, fines, penalties, reputation damage, and loss of customers. By complying with the ADA and WCAG standards, you can avoid these risks and protect your business.
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