Financial benefits of an accessible website
More and more companies are seeing the advantages of having an accessible website. For many it is simply the right thing to do. But there are solid financial reasons that are impossible to overlook.There are 1.5 million people with disabilities in Ontario, 650 million in the world with disabilities. This is an enormous opportunity to increase your market share!
According to Disabled World, currently about 10% of the world population live with a disability.
Reach wider markets
There are two sides of accessibility: technical and usable accessibility. The technical part ensures that the screen readers (used by the visually impaired) can read a website, and that physically disabled can use the tab button to navigate it. However, large group of people with disabilities are people with cognitive problems - problems with understanding. These are people with learning disabilities, ADD, short-term memory, dyslexia etc. who find it extremely difficult to navigate complex sites or sites that are not clearly written. Usable accessibility ensures that a website is logically organized, menus and titles carry information and are intuitive, and the website copy is clear and understandable for everyone.
250,000 immigrants come to Canada each year. Again, this is a number that should not be overlooked. Industry jargon and idioms can be a real problem for newcomers. Idioms like "When will you drop them a line?" will be translated word for word. Sarcasm and irony may sound offending.
And let's not forget seniors. Seniors experience problems that are similar to those of people with disabilities. Vision problems, loss of hearing, short-term memory loss, shaky hands, arthritis... But seniors have a huge buying power and are more and more computer savvy. Wouldn't it make sense to make your website easy to use for them? Also read And let's be honest, don't we all prefer websites that are easy to read?
Increase website traffic
SEO advantages of an accessible website cannot be overlooked. The main principles for making a website accessible overlap the basic principles of search engine optimization (SEO). As a result, accessible websites rank higher than inaccessible or un-optimized sites which translate into more website traffic. Then it's a matter of good usability, persuasive content and product or services in demand to turn the traffic into customers.
Clearly, website accessibility has strong financial benefits for any organization. Businesses get more sales, schools get more students, and non-profit organizations get more funding.