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Website accessibility — making sure a site can be used by individuals with disabilities — has always been important. However, in the past few years, it’s become a topic of concern beyond just web developers. Organizations have been sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act for having non-accessible websites, which has business and government leaders paying attention.
But is it really that big of a deal? In a word: yes. Keep reading to find out why website accessibility matters, and how Romega Digital can help you make sure your site follows the rules.
1. It’s The Right Thing To Do
The web should be accessible to everyone, not just those with good eyesight, fine motor control, and standard color vision. It’s our responsibility as builders and owners of websites to make sure we aren’t making life harder for disabled users.
2. Disabilities Go Beyond Blindness
Blindness and low vision are among the most obvious reasons people may have trouble using a non-accessible website. Many folks know about assistive technologies like screen readers that narrate the content of a website or output Braille. But making sure your site is usable by screen readers isn’t the only thing you need to do. Here are a few examples (but by no means a complete list):
- Fine motor control – Need to navigate without a mouse
- Color-blind – Must be able to understand data without relying just on color
- Deaf – Video, audio and multimedia content should have subtitles
- Cognitive disabilities – Design shouldn’t be too complicated, and content should be simplified
3. An Accessible Site Opens You To More Customers
If a disabled person can’t use your site, you are alienating a great potential customer. We often hear from our clients about making sure people on a certain browser or device can use their site, but thinking about users with disabilities often doesn’t come up.
4. You Might Get Sued
If the other three reasons haven’t convinced you to invest in accessibility, this one should make you take notice. When the Supreme Court declined to review an accessibility lawsuit against Domino’s Pizza, it signaled that the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to websites. And indeed, many businesses and government entities have been sued because their websites are inaccessible. This can result in a large settlement or paying to fix the website quickly. It would be better to avoid that expense by doing it right in the first place.
How to make your site accessible in as little as 48 hours
When Romega Digital builds a website, we try to follow best practices from the start. But what if your site is older and doesn’t follow current accessibility guidelines? Before, your best options could both be pricey: Either rebuild the site from the ground up, or do a painstaking review and fix any issues found. But now we can offer you a third option.
We recently partnered with a company that builds AI-driven software for adding website accessibility features on top of an existing site. Tools like contrast switching, screen reader mode, and automatic alternate text for photos make your site usable for everyone without making changes to your codebase or design. It’s an affordable, fast way to bring your site up to modern standards — and greatly reduce the chances you’ll be sued.
Are you concerned about accessibility and lawsuits? Let’s talk about how we can add accessibility tools to your current site, or build you something new.