Arlington Chamber of Commerce – Blog: Why Web Accessibility Matters to Your Business
The Web Accessibility Initiative (“WAI”, also called “W3C“) addresses the issue of those who constantly struggle to access the Internet, and how to make the Internet a more universally inclusive place for users. Another guiding principle of web accessibility is Chapter 508 of the U.S. government code, which states that all government the information must be accessible on the web, i.e. the accounting all potential disabilities that could hinder a user’s internet experience:
The type of challenges that users face with web accessibility can often be unintentional, but it’s important that these considerations remain at the forefront of every business owner’s mind. Visual difficulties are apparent when a website design puts too much emphasis on aesthetics and complicates it instead of making it broadly compatible and easy to understand. It’s best to keep web pages succinct and easy to understand, but that doesn’t mean your site has to be boring or straightforward. Accessibility “overlays” are often seen as a quick fix to making a website accessible, but the reality is there are no shortcuts. Overlay companies and accessibility themes often cause more usability and accessibility issues than they solve. Often times, automated accessibility checkers will give false positives telling you to fix something that doesn’t need fixing. Manually checking a web page for a wide variety of accessibility issues is crucial. In order for a web page to be accessible and usable for all types of web users, especially those with disabilities, it must take into account all kinds of factors that can alter a user’s experience. Web pages should be checked and tested manually to see where they are faulty. Some of the most common accessibility issues are text that is too light or too small. Alternative text missing on images, too many navigation links in the main navigation, blank form labels, and ambiguous link text. 97% of the world’s top 1 million websites fail basic web accessibility tests, exposing them to legal trouble. There was 8x as many web accessibility lawsuits filed between 2016 and 2019 than ever before. The Internet permeates virtually every aspect of our lives, making it vital that businesses consider every basis for the future. No one deserves to be discriminated against, especially when they have no choice as to whether or not they have a disability. Web and technological accessibility breeds more inclusiveness by working against discrimination. By making your website usable by all types of users, you invite potential business opportunities and give your business more credibility. Aiming for a web-accessible site means having a moral compass. By ignoring it, you miss a chance to promote the universal human good and allow all users to access the content.
This press release was prepared by Arlington Chamber of Commerce – Blog. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.