Some time ago I wrote a post explaining why people should care about accessibility. One of the reasons I gave is that it is simply the right thing to do. And I haven’t moved from that position. Wanting to provide the best digital experience for people should be important to us all. Creating a frustrating, confusing, or unusable experience for people you’re trying to reach goes contrary to the desire we should all have in delighting our customers.
At the same time, I often hear customers say that altruism doesn’t pay the bills; that they need to justify some level of ROI to their leadership. And there is data that provides compelling information for ROI considerations:
- Over 57 Million people in the US have some form of a disability (over 1 Billion globally).
- There has been a 70% increase in the use of screen reader assistive technology (AT) over the past 12 years.
- 80% of people using AT are willing to pay more on a site that has the fewest barriers, not the lowest prices.
- People with disabilities account for hundreds of billions of after-tax dollars of annual online spending.
Creating accessible experiences results in good design and coding practices, it’s good for business, and it creates experiences that are helpful for the people using and consuming your digital content. But still the question remains: Is it worth the time and money for my business to be accessibly compliant?
In June of last year, Gartner released a report that answers this question in the affirmative. In their analysis, Gartner makes two strategic assumptions:
- By 2023, digital products in full WCAG Level 2 compliance will outperform their market competitors by 50%.
- By 2025, all G20 countries — which account for 90% of the global world product — will establish enforceable legal standards for digital accessibility, leading to a “GDPR moment” in which businesses scramble to achieve compliance.
The Gartner report goes on to list four ways accessibility compliance gives businesses a competitive advantage over those businesses that ignore accessibility.
- Being accessible maximizes your total addressable market.
- Being accessible enhances your brand.
- Being accessible results in better coding practices leading to higher SEO rankings.
- Being accessible reduces the risk of legal action and associated costs.
You can read the full report on Gartner’s website located at https://www.gartner.com/doc/reprints?id=1-1ZD83U1M&ct=200701&st=sb.
Accessibility compliance is a good business decision. But beyond the dollars and cents, let’s remember that without our customers, there would be no business. And if delighting our customers is really what we’re all about, then accessibility compliance is the best decision.
iSoftStone and accessibility
Raising awareness about accessibility is key to what we’re doing at iSoftStone, and we are committed to helping our customers achieve accessibility success. Our accessibility practice does this in several ways:
- We adopt an “accessibility first” approach to our design and development methodologies.
- We test for the user experience by ensuring our test teams represent the perspective of users with disabilities.
- We work with our clients to drive for accessibility improvement through remediation recommendations to help identify opportunities that enables you to take the lead among industry competitors.
- Empathy is at the core of everything we deliver. We always ask, “How will this experience benefit someone using AT?” The answer to that question informs how we work and drives us toward delivering quality solutions.
Maybe you’re new to accessibility and want to learn more, or perhaps you’re familiar with it and are ready to take the first step to ensure your digital content is compliant. Either way, we would love to meet you and get that conversation started. Feel free to reach out to talk with one of our subject matter experts today.