The current business case is that startups can increase their reach, and subsequently their profitability, if they are inclusive. Accessibility also improves: SEO, usability, use by aging populations, reduced website costs (this is through reducing bugs and interoperability issues), and increased efficiency of the site through reduced bandwidth. If websites are inaccessible complaints and lawsuits can also be filed against them on the grounds of discrimination or unequal access.
Why Web Accessibility?
The web was initially created with the purpose of sharing information and giving people around the world the opportunity of accessing resources for education, business, employment, government, healthcare, and recreation. Web pages are a platform for your business to reach out to as many individuals as possible. But are your web developers really thinking of everyone? Are you a business that wants to be inclusive and open to anyone that may want to use your services? Even if your business is not directly targeted to individuals with disabilities, this population is also part of the community and may help to grow your business. It is important to design web pages that are accessible in order to give individuals with disabilities the opportunity to understand, navigate, interact and contribute to your business.
Technology gives individuals with disabilities an opportunity to communicate with the world and to access services and businesses that were previously not accessible. For instance, assistive technologies such as screen readers allow individuals with vision impairments to access computers and web pages. However, if web pages are not designed with accessibility in mind, no matter how advanced the screen reader is, the individual will still find it impossible to access the information you are trying to share. It is our duty to create equal access and equal opportunities as a business and re-thinking our approach to designing web pages may easily increase our outreach and inclusiveness.
Marcela Correa Villada, ATP.
MASc Biomedical Engineering
Assistive Technician |
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