Study Shows Business Perception of Web Accessibility

A recent study by AudioEye has revealed several myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding the importance of web accessibility. With over 61 million adults in the United States living with a disability, ensuring that a website is able to be accessed and navigated by all is not a consideration that businesses can afford to ignore.

Accessibility

Identifying Accessibility Problems

Web accessibility is a problem that often goes unnoticed. With the majority of web sites sampled suffering from one or more problems that had the potential to impact or limit accessibility, the need to act may be more pressing than most businesses and organizations realize. Slightly more than half of all surveyed website designers indicated that they were familiar with concepts pertaining to online access and digital accessibility. Businesses who choose to rely on their IT provider or web design service to deal with any accessibility issues could be making a big mistake.

Taking stock of the current site layout and design is often essential in terms of identifying any underlying issues or concerns. While most business owners are motivated to update websites in order to ensure compliance, accessibility can provide a number of additional benefits that can make the time, effort and expense involved in identifying and addressing any underlying design flaws or issues well worth it. A site update or redesign in order to accommodate disabilities like blindness, mobility problems and other cognitive impairments can provide a greater return of investment than many businesses might expect.

Accessibility and ADA Compliance

Ensuring website accessibility is essential for ensuring that visitors who suffer from one or more impairments or disabilities will be able to fully access the site. Failure to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) could lead to any number of potential consequences that businesses would do well to avoid. For organizations that ask themselves why accessibility is important, the potential financial consequences and tarnished reputation that may result from noncompliance are never issues that should be taken lightly.

Business Leaders and Managers Weigh in on Accessibility

The vast majority of business leaders surveyed reported that their target audience could be affected by a disability. Nearly three quarters of senior leadership also disagreed that lawsuits and legal complaints stemming from accessibility-related issues could simply be ignored. Industry attitudes continue to shift and evolve and businesses that fail to change with the times could be making a costly misstep.

The Financial Cost of Accessibility Compliance

Updating a site design, layout or the addition of key features can often be arranged for much less than many businesses might expect to pay. More than half of people surveyed believed that the updates and changes needed to ensure compliance necessitated a complete site redesign. The truth is that most updates often entail only minor changes and additions ensuring that businesses will not be forced to choose between compliance and their own bottom line.

From enhancing a business’s brand or reputation to ensuring that marketing efforts and promotional campaigns are able to reach an expanded audience, accessibility provides a range of benefits that extend well beyond legal compliance. Organizations that are still wondering why accessibility is important would do well to educate themselves.

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