“When you create a website that is optimized for accessibility, you make it optimized for everyone.”
~Andy Didyk, Ntara Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Andy Didyk opened his presentation with the whys and what fors of website accessibility. We were shocked to learn that 27 million Americans are blind or visually impaired. This number is forecast to double in the next 30 years!
Unfortunately, in a recent study, 98% of the top 1 million homepages do not meet accessibility standards.
That means 27 million Americans (more than the population of Australia) cannot easily browse the most popular sites on the internet. These are digital dependents that oftentimes don’t get the opportunity to explore this online space due to accessibility restrictions.
And this is unlawful.
In fact, many companies are taking the hit for their inaccessibility. Over 2,600 lawsuits occurred in 2019 due to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance complaints, and topping the list of “2019 Hottest Sites to Sue” was the retail industry.
But according to Didyk, there’s just no need for this. Creating a completely accessible site is easy and affordable, usually only adding 2-5% to the overall web budget.
So how do you create an accessible website?
Follow W3C’s POUR Principles of Accessibility:
Websites can often follow these guidelines by making simple changes like clear/direct messaging (i.e. download the e-book vs click here), adding descriptive alt text or captions to images, and by ensuring users avoid or can correct mistakes (i.e. error code vs. copy explaining the error).
And as if you needed more incentive, when you follow these guidelines of accessibility, you’re creating a better user-experience from these clear directives and easy navigation. Plus, this also means the Google algorithm can scan or read your site quicker and more efficiently – Hello, SEO benefits.
Check the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) website for a full list of guidelines, or do a quick (and free!) online assessment of your website accessibility with Ntara.
BG Products, Inc.