Uncover The Benefits Of An Accessible Website: Increase In Reach

Keyboard with green wheelchair symbol on key

Do you know if your website is accessible?

The DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) states that service providers must not discriminate against disabled people. A website is regarded as a service and therefore falls under this law, and as such must be made accessible to everyone. Some organizations are making accessibility improvements to their websites, but many are seemingly not making the accessibility adjustments. Disabled people don’t access their website, they say, so why should they care?

Why you should care about disabled Internet users

The statistics on the number of users who may face difficulties due to your website’s accessibility are quite startling:

  • There are 56.7 million disabled people in the US – 18.7% of the population (source: 2010 US Census). That number has surely increased by this time.
  • There are 7.3 million people who have a sight problem – over 2% of the total US population (source: NFB 2013)
  • There are 41.5 million adults (Age 15+) who have physical disabilities – Over 13.5% of the Total US population (source: 2010 US census). That has also increased by now.

Although there is inevitably some overlap between the aforementioned groups, adding up these numbers provides a total of 34.2% of the US population that could potentially face problems with your website’s accessibility. That’s an extraordinarily high number.

It’s not just disabled users who can’t access your website. Non-disabled people may also experience difficulties with your website’s accessibility. Not everyone is viewing your website on the latest version of Internet Explorer, with all the plug-ins and programs that you may require them to have for optimal access. If your website relies on images, Flash or JavaScript, and fails to provide alternatives, then your website won’t be accessible to a number of web users. The following examples are a common occurrence:

  • Users on slow connections regularly turn images off to enable a quicker download time. Some browsers, such as the text-only Lynx browser do not display images at all.
  • Not every user has downloaded the latest Flash program that’s needed to access your site. Additionally, the download time on Flash websites often takes so long that users lose patience and don’t even wait to see the content.
  • JavaScript is a scripting language that can cause changes to a page, often through mouse functions, buttons, or other actions from the user. For example, pop-ups are opened using JavaScript. JavaScript is unsupported by about 5% of web users, either because they have turned it off to prevent pop-up adverts or because their browser doesn’t support it (source: The Counter). Any JavaScript-driven content provided on your website won’t be accessible to these users.
  • Mobile phones and WebTV have limited support for large images, Flash and JavaScript. You can test your website by downloading the free WebTV viewer. You can also check how your website looks on a mobile phone with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. Don’t underestimate the importance of this: the worldwide smartphone market grew 13.0% year over year in 2015Q2 alone (source: IDC Aug. 2015).

Web Accessibility is complex and can be a complicated process, but it is also tantamount to your small business success.  To uncover the blind spots in your web accessibility guidelines, you may want to enlist the help of qualified and competent professionals like us, Two Blind Marketers & Associates.  We can be reached by phone at (575) 233-6355 or by email: michael@twoblindmarketers.com. Call us today to meet with one of our web accessibility consultants!

Mike

About Mike

Despite the challenges of being legally blind since the age of 10, Michael has had the entrepreneurial spirit his whole life. He started his internet marketing career in 1997 selling collectible books on eBay. After that, he ran a successful computer consulting business for over 10 years. In January 2008, after the birth of his special needs child, he realized that he would no longer be able to do computer repair work in the field. While attending an online marketing workshop, he discovered that he had the passion to help small business owners with their marketing. He and his wife specialize in Website Design & Accessability, as well as Reputation Marketing. Michael decided, with the support of his wife, to found Two Blind Marketers in June 2009.

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