The terms Section 508 Accessibility and ADA compliance aren’t new to the industry, but merely receive the deserving spotlight? what I am trying to say here is, digital accessibility is still considered an obligatory legal compliance rather than a genuine business opportunity.
Webaim.org states 97.4% of home pages had detected Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 failures? shocking, isn’t it? Sadly, such thoughts prevail even after experiencing a global pandemic that caused sudden pivot to digital-only services almost overnight. Coming as a wake-up call, it not only highlighted the importance of digital accessibility, but also stated its benefits.
Different Accessibility Issues
Before creating or redesigning a website, products, and services, understanding the different types of accessibility issues is crucial. Creating inclusive products becomes much easier when you know what types of accessibility issues impact a user’s experience.
WHO report says that about 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, out of which 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. This estimate for disability is following an upward trajectory due to rapid spread of chronic diseases, aging population, and improvements in methods used to measure disability. The different types of disabilities are:
- 1. Visual impairments such as blindness and color blindness
- 2. Auditory impairment such as hard of hearing or deafening
- 3. Cognitive issues such as language, learning, and speech impediments
- 4. Neurological and/or motor impairment such as limited sensory controls
The above-mentioned forms of disabilities vary in severity. Making your websites accessible is as important as it’s looks, responsiveness, and search engine optimization. Hence, your products must be versatile enough to address different types of disabilities. The section 508 accessibility compliance, therefore, aims at creating equal opportunities for everyone by ensuring that information and communication technology is accessible to everyone, including the differently-abled population.
Decoding Digital Accessibility
The “plug and forget” automated solutions mis-sell the dream that accessibility and compliance can be easily achieved with quick fix website overlays. With so much misinformation around digital accessibility, 508 compliance services help the corporate leaders to separate the facts from the fiction.
For a website/document to achieve enhanced accessibility standards, it must exhibit a number of capabilities. For example, having captions for videos helps you build trust amongst the users with auditory impairments. You can also include video transcripts for those with cognitive issues.
People with neurological disorders having limited or no motor skills benefit from the inclusion of text-to-speech functionality and voice recognition on the website and documents. A great website design must be true to the brand’s colors. At the same time, using large buttons with good color contrast assists those with visual impairments. PDF accessibility companies take care of all such points.
Ultimately, creating digitally accessible products including ADA compliant PDF and website comes down to effective communication. Companies with digital accessibility gain an edge over their peers. See how:
Building Bridge to Inclusion – Just like humans embrace working with machines, assistive technologies for disabled are just the embodiment of that. Ensuring website and PDF accessibility helps the growth-focused leaders to narrow the digital gaps and build the bridge for inclusion. And, you know that the future lies in welcoming cultural inclusivity and diversity. Let me put it in simple words – think of your online presence as an extension of the brick-and-mortar store and just make accommodations.
Great for Brand’s Organic Ranking – Apart from avoiding the legal risk of section 508 Accessibility and ADA compliance, one thing you can be assured of is improved ROI. The professionals take care of the entire website and PDF remediation process, right from addition of appropriate alt-texts to color contrast requirements. They add SEO tags and descriptions that make website crawling easier. This boosts your brand’s organic ranking and helps in going up the pedestal.
How about Making More Money? – Companies with accessible digital products and services make more money since it is a vast market offering you a pool of opportunities to discover new prospects and generate higher profits. After all, you are tapping into the 1-billion-strong market of people with disabilities that have $1.2 trillion in annual disposable income as sourced from Forrester. Whopping, isn’t it?
Despite the positive advantages, ignoring the entire rapidly evolving international legal landscape, when it comes to compliance with accessibility standards is naive. Let the PDF accessibility companies take you through the tides!
Getting it Right from Top to Bottom
If anything is holding you back from kicking off discussions to operationalizing digital accessibility as a strategic digital inclusion imperative, consulting professionals or investing in ADA compliance services help you get a step closer to an accessible digital future – a future that extends beyond the high level of assistive technology accommodation assessment.