Web Accessibility and Your Business

One of the things I find I'm most often fighting with my peers and competitors is the need for your website to be accessible. An Accessible website is a website that caters to the needs of disabled individuals and people using alternative web browsing methods like third party browsers, PDA's, etc. As a business owner, it is important to have a website that meets at least the minimum Web Accessibility Standards. If your website is accessible you stand to benefit from:

  • Increased Market Share and Audience Reach,
  • Improved Efficiency,
  • Demonstrate Social Responsibility, and
  • Reduce Legal Liability.

By having an accessible website you increase your website's ability to reach people, thereby helping to increase market share. In some market populations the number of people with disabilities can be as high as 20 percent. Some countries experience disability numbers as high as 8 to 10 percent.

An Accessible website also allows people who don't speak the language the website is written in have it translated to their native tongue. This, of course, makes it easier to reach a more diverse group of people.

Search engines like accessible websites. An accessible website is text (or content) based. Search engines only read text. Accessible websites are more likely to be listed favorably with search engines because they provide more content, which makes them appear more relevant.

You can improve website efficiency through satisfying accessibility standards. Websites are easier to maintain by staff and are generally loaded faster by web browsers.

Most businesses stress their commitment to enriching their community. An accessible website is an example of such a commitment.

With anti-discrimination laws on the books, an accessible website can help public institutions like university, municipalities, and other publicly operated entity avoid legal issues as it is required to cater to the needs of all individuals.

These are but a taste of the benefits an accessible website can offer your business. For more details, visit: http://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/benefits.html.


Joel Padot is the Director of Operations at 3D Solutions for Business, LLC, a web development and business consulting company located in Gainesville, Florida. Joel's professional interests and, likewise, areas of expertise include website accessibility and useability.

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