The existence of boundaries in the digital world is well known, especially for people with disabilities. Around the world, one billion individuals have a disability. But only 2% of websites adhere to accessibility guidelines. Millions of people continue to struggle as more information and services are made available online. What is wonderful for those of us that can easily access the latest technology. For others, it’s a nightmare situation.
Simply said, addressing digital accessibility is an excellent business for marketing and sales professionals. Although not compelled by law, doing so is nevertheless morally correct. As more individuals have access to it, easily readable digital content can increase sales leads and revenue. Additionally, a lot of consumers are more likely to purchase products from companies that support ethical behavior.
The marketing team is typically in charge of a company’s website, external communications, and brand reputation. Because of this, digital accessibility is essential for sales and marketing professionals. The problem arises when they’re not sure how to optimize your systems for digital accessibility. When this occurs, it’s good to have a team like Quality Logic on your side.
Why Is Digital Content Accessibility So Important?
Technology and website design ought to be guided by the idea of digital accessibility for a number of moral and legal considerations, including the following:
A violation of the ADA may have expensive fines and other repercussions. A corporation may be subject to a fine and other financial penalties, be required to pay legal fees and possibly be forced to rebuild the website to confirm if it is not user-friendly for individuals with disabilities.
It is estimated that more than 1 billion individuals, or 15% of the global population, live with a disability. The loss of potential customers to the denial of an essential access to services are just a few consequences of inaccessible technology or websites.
Digital accessibility can also be useful to users who are not disabled. Thanks to accessibility features, the majority of users can navigate a website more effortlessly.
The ties between a company’s customers and employees can be strengthened by creating an inclusive culture. Even while corporations have begun concentrating on diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and policies, there is still work to be done.
The Effects of Digital Accessibility on Your Business
The goal of digital accessibility is to give all users a welcoming experience. Businesses may expand their reach and safeguard the reputation of their brands by enhancing digital inclusion.
It is morally right to put a priority on digital accessibility, both from a social and financial standpoint. In the United States, over 61 million adults struggle with disabilities like vision loss, hearing loss, and learning difficulties. This indicates that a large number of websites, campaigns, and social media messages are difficult for many individuals to access or comprehend.
Additionally, accessibility is mandated by law. The number of court cases involving web accessibility has risen significantly in recent years. There are hundreds per year in the United States alone. In reality, the Americans with Impairments Act (ADA) mandates that all businesses provide and maintain websites that are usable and accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Recognizing the effect that putting accessibility first can have on brand reputation is also crucial. Few things are more crucial for marketing and sales professionals than building and maintaining a brand reputation.
Businesses that embrace good corporate social responsibility and show a clear commitment to accessibility benefit. The preference of people to purchase from companies that support important causes is 62%. 56% of consumers are willing to pay more if a company has a reputation for upholding social ideals. Companies are now expected to provide resources to causes they support and believe in. In highly competitive industries, demonstrating a commitment to inclusiveness has proven to be a big difference for many businesses.
Of course, “looking good” isn’t the reason you should focus on digital accessibility. You should make an effort to transition because it’s the right thing to do.
Three Steps to Increasing Digital Accessibility for Your Business
Although improving your company’s online accessibility is a continuous process, getting started doesn’t have to be challenging.
Start by conducting research: Recognize the issue. Consider yourself to be one of your users. Recognizing exclusion and its effects is crucial. Learn about users who might encounter difficulties and the problems they encounter online as a result. If you can, try to converse with these users. Ask them where the obstacles are on your website and how simple it is for them to access the content.
Confirm that you have internal backing: There’s more to increasing digital
accessibility than just fixing a few typos on your website. The entire business needs to change. Create a cross-departmental team if you want to make sure accessibility is always a top priority. People from the fields of content, design, sales, and development may be on the team. A multidisciplinary team can create procedures where:
- Regular accessibility checks are conducted, and any problems are swiftly fixed.
- Content is readable and accessible, and free of jargon.
- Decision-making and design are completely user-led.
- Accessibility becomes a top focus as new activities are planned.
Decide on your largest problems, then deal with them first: Make a plan of action to accomplish your goals. Most importantly, understand that accessibility is a continuous process. It’s a continuous process that your marketing and sales teams should be committed to, and it should be welcomed at all organizational levels.
Laws Regarding Digital Access
As of the time of this writing, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to hold the long-standing position that the ADA encompasses digital accessibility and has not expressly extended ADA provisions to cover it.
However, other regulations can be analyzed in light of digital accessibility. According to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal departments and agencies must make a reasonable effort to provide information via systems that are equally accessible to people with disabilities. They must provide people with disabilities with an alternate way to access the data and information that those information systems provide if they are unable to do so. Accessibility for people with disabilities must be equal to that for people without disabilities.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CCVA), which included new regulations to ensure that contemporary technology is accessible to persons with impairments, amended the Communications Act of 1934 in 2010. The bill’s Title II specifies a variety of requirements for the accessibility of televisions, television services, television programs, and streaming video, while Title I of the bill provides accessibility criteria for “advanced” telecommunications goods and services.
The European Union now has its own laws thanks to the implementation of Directive (EU) 2016/2102, which standardized accessibility standards across the EU in 2016. A directive is a piece of EU law that prescribes a particular result while leaving the member states to decide how to get there.
Transitioning your systems and processes to digital accessibility is a big undertaking. It’s best to work with a team knowledgeable in the field. At QualityLogic, we can assess your needs and get you where you need to be with ease. Visit our website at www.qualitylogic.com to learn more.