Digital Accessibility and Your Organization
It is common knowledge that the digital world has limitations, especially for those with disabilities. One billion people around the globe have a disability. However, just 2% of websites comply with accessibility standards. As more online information and services become accessible, millions of people continue to struggle. How fortunate we are to have easy access to the most recent technology. The scenario is a nightmare for others.
Simply said, marketing and sales professionals can benefit greatly from addressing digital accessibility. Despite not being required by law, doing so is morally correct. Easy-to-read digital information can increase sales leads, and income as more persons have access to it. Moreover, many consumers are more likely to acquire products from businesses that encourage ethical behavior.
Typically, the marketing department is responsible for the company’s website, external communications, and brand reputation. Because of this, sales and marketing professionals must have digital accessibility. The issue occurs when they are unsure of how to improve their systems for digital accessibility. It is advantageous to have a team like Quality Logic on your side when this occurs.
Why is the Accessibility of Digital Content So Important?
Technology and website design should be governed by the principle of digital accessibility for a variety of moral and legal reasons, including the following:
A breach of the ADA may result in costly fines and other consequences. A corporation may be subject to a fine and other monetary penalties, be asked to pay legal fees and be ordered to rebuild its website if it is determined that it is not accessible to people with disabilities.
More than 1 billion people, or 15% of the global population, are believed to have a disability. Inaccessible technologies or websites can result in a variety of negative outcomes, including the loss of potential consumers and the denial of crucial service access.
Digital accessibility is equally beneficial for non-disabled users. The majority of people can explore a website with greater ease because of its accessibility features.
Creating an inclusive culture can strengthen the relationships between a company’s customers and its employees. Even while organizations have begun focusing on diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and policies, much work remains.
The Influence of Digital Accessibility on Your Organization
The purpose of digital accessibility is to create a welcoming environment for all users. By boosting digital inclusiveness, businesses may broaden their reach and protect their brands’ reputations.
From both a social and a financial perspective, it is morally correct to prioritize internet accessibility. Over 61 million adults in the United States struggle with disabilities such as visual loss, hearing loss, and learning challenges. This shows that a vast number of websites, campaigns, and social media communications are inaccessible or difficult to interpret for many consumers.
Moreover, accessibility is required by law. In recent years, the number of judicial cases addressing web accessibility has increased substantially. Each year, there are hundreds in the United States alone. In fact, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) demands that all businesses establish and maintain websites that are accessible and useable by people with disabilities.
It is also essential to understand how putting accessibility first might affect the brand’s reputation. Building and maintaining a brand’s reputation is one of the most important tasks for marketing and sales professionals.
Businesses with a strong commitment to accessibility and a dedication to corporate social responsibility are rewarded. 62% of consumers prefer to purchase from companies that support significant causes. 56% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product or service from a firm that has a reputation for upholding societal standards. Now, businesses are required to contribute to causes they support and believe in. Many businesses have found that displaying a commitment to inclusivity makes a significant difference in highly competitive industries.
Obviously, “looking good” is not why you should prioritize digital accessibility. You should strive to transition because it is the moral thing to do.
Three Steps to Increasing Your Company’s Digital Accessibility
Improving your company’s internet accessibility is an ongoing process, but getting started need not be difficult.
Start By Carrying Out Research
Recognize the difficulty. Think of yourself as one of your users. It is vital to recognize exclusion and its implications. Learn about users who may experience difficulties and the issues they face as a result. Attempt to converse with these users if possible. Ask them where the barriers are and how easy it is to access the content.
Confirm That You Have Internal Support
Increasing digital accessibility requires more than simply correcting a few errors on your website. The entire enterprise must transform. Create an interdepartmental team to ensure that accessibility is always a top concern. On the team may be professionals from the fields of content, design, sales, and development. A multidisciplinary group is able to develop techniques where:
- Regular accessibility audits are performed, and any issues are resolved expeditiously.
- The content is comprehensible, approachable, and devoid of jargon.
- Decision-making and design are entirely driven by the user.
- When planning new activities, accessibility becomes a priority.
Determine Your Most Pressing Issues, Then Address Them First
Create a strategy for achieving your goals. Understand foremost that accessibility is a continual process. Your marketing and sales staff should be devoted to this process, and it should be welcomed at all organizational levels.
Statutes Relating to Digital Access
As of the time of this writing, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to maintain its long-standing view that the ADA covers digital accessibility but has not explicitly extended ADA rules to cover it.
Other restrictions, however, might be evaluated in light of digital accessibility. Section 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act mandates that government departments and agencies make a reasonable effort to offer information via methods that are equally accessible to individuals with disabilities. If people with disabilities are unable to access the data and information provided by these information systems, alternative access methods must be provided. Equal access must be provided to those with and without impairments.
The Communications Act of 1934 was revised in 2010 by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CCVA), which includes new restrictions to guarantee that modern technology is accessible to people with disabilities. Title II of the bill contains various requirements for the accessibility of televisions, television services, television programs, and streaming video, whereas Title I of the bill outlines accessibility criteria for “advanced” telecommunications products and services.
Due to the implementation of Directive 2016/2102, which harmonized accessibility standards across the EU in 2016, the European Union (EU) now has its own regulations. A directive is a piece of EU law that prescribes a particular outcome while leaving the means of achieving it to the member states.
Adapting your systems and procedures to digital accessibility is a significant undertaking. It is optimal to collaborate with a team of experts in the field. At QualityLogic, we can assess your needs and bring you to your destination without difficulty. To learn more, please visit our website at www.qualitylogic.com.