Website Accessibility gives a fair opportunity to everyone, regardless of cognitive or motor skill disabilities, a fair shot at being included in a digital solution. By everyone that means, not excluding that staggering 20% of people in the world with disabilities.
As the digital age becomes more prevalent, and more services are being offered online, it becomes more and more problematic that most (approximately 70%!) of websites in the world are unable to be accessed by everyone.
It’s almost guaranteed that we each have a friend or family member that falls into these staggering numbers:
(Statistics Source: https://www.powermapper.com/blog/website-accessibility-disability-statistics/)
Imagine this scenario: John is living through a global pandemic (hmm, sound familiar…) and he need a lamp. Of course he doesn’t want to expose himself to the virus, so he goes online to order from the first website that is displayed for lamp sales (this could be you!). Unfortunately, the website is not ADA compliant and John has a disability that won’t let him surf the site properly. John hits the back button faster than lightning, and there goes your business.
This scenario could be happening 100’s of times a day and you wouldn’t know it!
Aside from the practical reasoning of loss of business, having an accessible website that is ADA compliant can have several positive implications. Namely, the SEO value, avoiding lawsuits, being inclusive of everyone.
A website designer for inclusive and accessible usability will actually help a website rank better with google. If you look at google’s performance scanner, web.dev/measure, you will see that Accessibility is one of the metric they measure your site on.
Following the ADA guideline will actually create a better user experience, which Google absolutely loves. Practices such as giving your images alt tage, titles, and and labels on your forms, amongst many others, actually increases “keyword” real estate on your site as well. Not to mention the potential for 20% added traffic to include the disabled, in turn also increasing your bounce rate, given that less users are leaving your site due to increased accessibility.
You may have noticed the recent black cloud of potential accessibility lawsuits hovering over small business owners’ heads. Website accessibility used to be completely optional, or better yet overlooked. Most owners wouldn’t give it too much attention given the extra expense and time it takes to get compliant.
As times get more progressive though, there is a bigger push for global inclusivity. Governments have started picking up on the notion and have been passing laws to enforce ADA standards. With these laws have come lawsuits that have been growing at an exponential rate. In 2019, Plaintiffs filed at least 11,053 ADA Title III lawsuits in federal court. That’s a scary number, and the rate of lawsuits is only growing. 2020 will end with a shocking number of lawsuits that is guaranteed to be higher than that even.
Considering the fact that not only does a non compliant website lose money, but that you may have an impending lawsuit on your hands, that’s definitely enough of a reason to consider taking the time and money to make your website accessible to everyone.
When designing websites, we always want to ensure that we are following best practices. Here are the recourses that we use to help us with best web accessibility practices:
If you are at the start of making a new website for your business, or would like a redesign that will comply with the ADA guidelines, we can help you. Get in touch with us, and we would love to work with your to get rid of that black cloud over your head and design a website that is not bordering discrimination to the diabled.