It is well understood that the digital world has limitations, particularly for those with disabilities. Around the world, one billion people are disabled. However, only 2% of websites adhere to accessibility guidelines. Millions of people continue to struggle as more online information and services become available. What a blessing it is to have easy access to cutting-edge technology. For others, the scenario is a nightmare.
Simply put, addressing digital accessibility can greatly benefit marketing and sales professionals. Despite the fact that it is not required by law, doing so is morally correct. As more people gain access to easy-to-read digital information, it can increase sales leads and income. Furthermore, many consumers are more likely to buy products from companies that promote ethical behavior.
The marketing department is typically in charge of the company’s website, external communications, and brand reputation. As a result, sales and marketing professionals must have digital access. The problem arises when they are unsure of how to improve their digital accessibility systems. When this happens, having a team like Quality Logic on your side is advantageous.
Why Is Digital Content Accessibility So Critical?
For a variety of moral and legal reasons, including the following, technology, and website design should be governed by the principle of digital accessibility:
A violation of the ADA may result in expensive fines and other consequences. If it is determined that a company’s website is inaccessible to people with disabilities, it may face a fine and other monetary penalties, as well as legal fees and the need to rebuild it.
More than one billion people, or 15% of the global population, are thought to be disabled. Inaccessible technologies or websites can have a number of negative consequences, such as the loss of potential customers and the denial of critical service access.
Non-disabled users benefit from digital accessibility as well. Because of its accessibility features, the majority of people can easily navigate a website.
Creating an inclusive culture can help to strengthen relationships between customers and employees. Even though organizations have begun to focus on diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and policies, there is still much work to be done.
The Impact of Digital Accessibility on Your Business
The goal of digital accessibility is to make the internet a more welcoming place for all users. Businesses can broaden their reach and protect their brands’ reputations by increasing digital inclusiveness.
Prioritizing internet access is morally correct from both a social and a financial standpoint. Over 61 million adults in the United States are affected by disabilities such as vision loss, hearing loss, and learning difficulties. This demonstrates that for many consumers, a large number of websites, campaigns, and social media communications are inaccessible or difficult to understand.
Furthermore, accessibility is mandated by law. The number of judicial cases addressing web accessibility has significantly increased in recent years. There are hundreds in the United States alone each year. In fact, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all businesses create and maintain accessible and usable websites for people with disabilities.
It is also critical to understand how prioritizing accessibility may affect the brand’s reputation. One of the most important tasks for marketing and sales professionals is to build and maintain a brand’s reputation.
Businesses that demonstrate a strong commitment to accessibility and corporate social responsibility are rewarded. 62% of consumers prefer to buy from businesses that support important causes. 56% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product or service from a company known for upholding societal standards. Businesses are now required to contribute to causes in which they support and believe. In highly competitive industries, many businesses have discovered that demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity makes a significant difference.
Clearly, “looking good” is not a reason to prioritize digital accessibility. You should make an effort to transition because it is the right thing to do.
Three Steps to Making Your Company More Digitally Accessible
Improving your company’s internet accessibility is an ongoing process, but it does not have to be difficult to get started.
Begin by conducting research.
Recognize the challenge. Consider yourself one of your customers. It is critical to recognize exclusion and its consequences. Learn about users who may have problems and the issues they face as a result. If possible, try to communicate with these users. Inquire about the obstacles and how easy it is to access the content.
Ascertain that you have internal support.
Increasing digital accessibility necessitates more than just fixing a few typos on your website. The entire organization must undergo transformation. Form an interdepartmental team to ensure that accessibility remains a top priority. Professionals from the fields of content, design, sales, and development may be included on the team. A multidisciplinary team can create techniques that:
- Regular accessibility audits are conducted, and any issues are resolved as soon as possible.
- The content is understandable, approachable and free of jargon.
- The user is entirely responsible for decision-making and design.
- When developing new activities, accessibility is a top priority.
Determine your most pressing issues, and then prioritize them.
Make a plan for achieving your objectives. Understand, first and foremost, that accessibility is an ongoing process. This process should be supported by your marketing and sales teams, and it should be welcomed at all organizational levels.
Statutes Concerning Digital Access
As of this writing, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) maintains its long-held position that the ADA covers digital accessibility but has not explicitly extended ADA rules to include it.
Other restrictions, on the other hand, may be considered in light of digital accessibility. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires government departments and agencies to make a reasonable effort to provide information in ways that are equally accessible to people with disabilities. Alternative access methods must be provided if people with disabilities are unable to access the data and information provided by these information systems. Those with and without disabilities must have equal access.
The Communications Act of 1934 was amended in 2010 by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CCVA), which includes new safeguards to ensure that modern technology is accessible to people with disabilities. Title II of the bill specifies accessibility requirements for televisions, television services, television programs, and streaming video, whereas Title I specifies accessibility criteria for “advanced” telecommunications products and services.
The European Union (EU) now has its own regulations as a result of the implementation of Directive 2016/2102 in 2016, which harmonized accessibility standards across the EU. A directive is a piece of EU legislation that specifies an outcome while leaving the means of achieving it up to the member states.
It is a significant undertaking to adapt your systems and procedures to digital accessibility. It is best to work with a team of subject matter experts. QualityLogic can assess your needs and safely transport you to your destination. Please visit our website at www.qualitylogic.com to learn more.