The internet has transformed the way we do business, learn, research, communicate, and spend our free time.
For business, a dynamic, user-friendly, and appealing online presence is imperative. When users can efficiently and effectively use your site, your bottom line benefits. So you want to make it accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.
Users interact with websites in different ways. Some users may have minor difficulties accessing the Web and others may have more severe disabilities such as blindness, deafness, and paralysis. For example:
- Color-blindness or inability to see contrast between colors
- Cognitive disabilities such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and autism
- Dexterity disabilities such as arthritis, and repetitive stress disorder
- Aging brings vision, hearing, and dexterity issues, and our population is aging rapidly
- The wheelchair-bound (for whom a website may be the best way to interact with your business)
Altogether, these users are a significant part of the population; in the US, more than 20% of the population is over 55 and this percentage is growing (see more accessibility statistics). By ensuring that your website is accessible for people with disabilities, you’ll be poised to secure the business of this population.
In addition, accessibility is the law. Just as brick-and-mortar businesses must be accessible by law, websites must be accessible. Just as automatic doors, ramps, and curb cuts make shopping easier for many people, with and without disabilities, accessible websites are more usable for all users.
But, finally and very importantly, accessibility can increase your readership and/or boost the bottom line.