Luckily in today's world everyone is a lot more attuned to the needs of others, and that now translates to equal and adequate accessibility to things like restaurants, and community facilities just as much as it means accessibility to online places, including your website.
But aside from just making sure you're legally compliant, making sure your site is ADA compliant and accessible also has many business-sided benefits, as well.
We're going to break down why website accessibility should be a big priority for your business. Buckle in.
Inclusivity: Accessibility ensures that people with disabilities can access and use websites. This includes individuals with visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive impairments. By making your website accessible, you are promoting inclusivity and equal access for all users.
Legal compliance: Many countries have laws and regulations that require websites to be accessible. Non-compliance can lead to legal issues and penalties. For example, in the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act require accessibility for public websites and federal agencies, respectively. Avoid a lawsuit and become compliant.
Ethical responsibility: Ensuring that your website is accessible is a matter of ethical responsibility. Everyone should have the same opportunity to access information, services, and products online. Excluding individuals with disabilities from your website is discriminatory.
Improved user experience: Accessibility features often enhance the user experience for all visitors, not just those with disabilities. Features such as text alternatives for images, logical content structure, and keyboard navigation can make your website more user-friendly for everyone.
Expanding the audience: When your website is accessible, you can reach a wider audience. This includes individuals with disabilities, as well as older users who may have age-related impairments. Catering to diverse user groups can increase your website's popularity and impact.
SEO benefits: Many accessibility practices align with good search engine optimization (SEO) practices. Using descriptive headings, meaningful link text, and alt text for images can help improve your website's search engine ranking, making it more discoverable to all users.
Assistive technology compatibility: Accessible websites are compatible with various assistive technologies such as screen readers, voice recognition software, and screen magnifiers. When your website works seamlessly with these tools, users with disabilities can access content effectively.
Brand reputation: By prioritizing accessibility, you can enhance your brand's reputation as a socially responsible and inclusive entity. Demonstrating commitment to accessibility can positively influence your users' perception of your organization.
Competitive advantage: In an increasingly digital world, accessibility can set you apart from competitors. Users are more likely to choose websites and services that are accessible and meet their needs.
Future-proofing: As technology evolves, ensuring that your website is accessible from the start can save you time and resources in the long run. You'll be better prepared to adapt to changing accessibility standards and user needs.
In summary, accessibility in website design is essential because it upholds the principles of inclusivity, legal compliance, ethics, and user experience. It also offers practical benefits such as expanding your audience, improving SEO, and enhancing your brand's reputation. By making your website accessible, you contribute to a more equitable and user-friendly online environment.
Not sure how your site stacks up in accessibility? Grab a free site audit today > and let us compile all the details about your site's SEO, content, design and accessibility so you can make the necessary tweaks for greater traction, better ROI and legal compliance.