Website Accessibility Impacts Business Part 1
Website accessibility impacts business. Clear and simple. How? People with disabilities can’t navigate the internet in the same way as others. They often need help from assistive technology (AT), such as screen readers, eye tracking software or alternative keyboards to help them navigate the web.
Note: This is the first of a 2-part post. It covers general information about website accessibility and how it impacts your business.
Why should you care about accessibility?
Even with AT, they are unable to consume content as some websites do not work well with this technology. 71% of them leave a website that isn’t accessible but keep searching until they find one that is user friendly.
When your site doesn’t work for people with disabilities, you’re alienating a sizable segment of the population. As a business owner, you should want the content on your website to be easy to consume by everyone.
The following stats are taken from multiple sources. While the data varies somewhat depending on the study, what IS clear is that there are millions of people who can’t access websites in their current form.
- Worldwide there are 750 million people with disabilities.
- 1 in 4 U.S. adults have a disability though not all may be severe enough to impact internet use.
- 3.8 million U.S. adults aged 21-64 are blind or have trouble seeing, even with glasses.
- Nearly 7 million US residents have a visual disability.
- 12 million Americans are colorblind (8% of men/0.5% women).
98% of the world’s top one million website don’t offer full accessibility. Put another way, less than 2% are capitalizing on this segment of the population making it an underserved and growing market.
Categories of disability
Accessibility covers a wide range from visual impairments (blindness, color blindness) to deafness to permanent motor impairments or temporary injuries from an accident or surgery. These are the major four categories.
A fifth category could be added for temporary and/or situational impairments, such as reading outside in bright sunlight, breaking your arm and unable to use a mouse or having a migraine that causes clouded vision.
These are all valid and real situations that can impair anyone’s ability. It could last a few hours to several months, depending on the circumstances. While I did not add that category to my list, it should certainly be considered as it proves the point that accessibility features benefit everyone.
Contact Sleepy Dog to learn more about our accessible websites and maintenance plans. Website accessibility impacts business part 2.