Website Accessibility: Why Is It Important?

If you’re reading this, you are using the Internet. But many are not as fortunate to be able to read and interact with the Internet the same way you and I do. This is where accessibility plays a role. 

What is accessibility? 

Accessibility is defined as “the practice of making information, activities, and environments sensible, meaningful, and usable for as many people as possible.” With regards to the Internet, accessibility is more specifically defined as “the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites on the Internet by people with physical and/or cognitive disabilities.”

A young lady in a electric-powered wheelchair using a computer and most likely an accessible website.

Is the Internet Actually Accessible?

While we all would like to think that the Internet is accessible because of the ability to use a screen reader, this is not the case. As a matter of fact, Forbes estimated that only 3% of the internet is considered truly accessible. This includes things such as making sure colors have high enough contrast to accommodate color blindness, choosing fonts that are easy to read, and allowing screen readers to operate on your website. 

All of these factors can affect the experience that people with disabilities have on a website, and even stop them from using or buying something. Not only can this lead to a lost potential sale/customer, but it can open you up to litigation. In 2018, the Department of Justice affirmed that websites are places of public accommodation and should therefore be accessible. Since then, businesses have faced web-accessibility-related lawsuits, with the number of lawsuits filed relating to web-accessibility increasing 13% year-over-year.  

Every business ranging, from small business owners to large corporations, like Domino’s Pizza, has faced litigation. Making your website accessible not only minimizes your risk of facing legal consequences but allows you to reach more potential customers. 

A person in a wheelchair making a purchase in an accessible location.

What is the Impact Accessibility Has on My Business?

By implementing accessible website practices, like the ones mentioned previously, you open up your website to a wider audience. With a wider audience comes more possible revenue. The American Institutes for Research estimates that the disabled community has nearly half a trillion (that’s with a T!) in disposable income. People with disabilities—as well as their families, friends, and advocates—wield considerable spending power. Whether you have an e-commerce site or not – this applies to you.

As web designers, we understand the impact this can have on local business owners and their businesses. To help businesses become more accessible, Muldrow Marketing is proud to launch a website accessibility solution that not only finds what’s wrong but fixes it. It all starts with a FREE website audit that helps you see if you are ADA-compliant AND ready to meet a wider customer base. Ready to find out if your website is accessible? Click here

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