Accessibility delivers enormous benefits for every type of organization. By prioritizing people with disabilities when creating products, marketing materials, and digital content, your brand can improve customer satisfaction and reach a wider audience — but your entire team needs to understand the principles of accessible design.
In other words, accessibility isn’t a checklist. It’s a set of values that guide decision making at every level. Accessibility training can help your team adopt those values and find practical ways to apply them. With the right approach, training can make your organization self-sufficient, ensuring long-term compliance with disability discrimination laws and reducing the resources spent on remediation.
The Bureau of Internet Accessibility offers on-site accessibility training programs to help brands take the first steps. We also offer interactive self-paced accessibility courses, which might be more appropriate for certain organizations. Here’s an overview of the importance of accessibility training, along with key factors to consider when choosing a program.
Why should your organization focus on accessibility?
For starters, accessibility is legally required. Anti-discrimination laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the European Accessibility Act (EAA) prohibit private organizations from discriminating in places of public accommodation, and businesses with inaccessible websites or mobile apps may face litigation for failing to accommodate all of their users.
In 2020, US businesses received an estimated 265,000 website accessibility demand letters citing alleged ADA violations. Companies may have spent billions of dollars responding to those complaints.
However, brands have other important reasons to adopt a user-first approach. About 15% of the world’s population experiences disability, and globally, people with disabilities control about $6.9 trillion in disposable income. Every business has users with disabilities, and those users deserve equivalent access to products and services; ignoring customers with disabilities is simply bad business.
Finally, the best practices of web accessibility improve the experience of all real-life users — regardless of whether they have disabilities. Accessible websites enhance your brand’s image and can improve customer retention.
Regardless of why your business pursues an accessibility initiative, expert training can help you establish goals and create a roadmap for achieving them. Accessibility training programs can provide:
- An organization-wide understanding of the key concepts including perceivability, operability, understandability, and robustness
- An understanding of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the international standards for accessibility
- Knowledge about available tools, resources, and testing methods for implementing accessible practices
- Remediation tactics that make content more useful for people with all types of disabilities
- Resources for developing your organization’s disability policies
- Best practices for improving company communications through accessible PowerPoint, PDF, and Word documents
Accessibility training focuses on making your team self-sufficient, knowledgeable, and aware of the challenges that people with disabilities encounter when using the internet. By leveraging the experience of experts, you can avoid common mistakes that affect real-world users — and your organization can play an important role in improving digital access for everyone.
Related: The Business Case for an Accessible Website
Onsite Accessibility Training vs. Remote Training
Remote accessibility training has obvious advantages for smaller organizations. Each participant can complete courses at their own pace, which accommodates different schedules and training aptitudes. While remote courses can be a vital part of your policy, they tend to focus on individuals — not groups.
As we’ve discussed in other articles, accessibility should be a priority for every member of your team, and accessibility training helps to reinforce important knowledge and concepts. On-site training is defined by your organization’s specific needs and helps every member of your team as they begin to utilize the best practices of accessible design.
Many companies use a combination of onsite (or teleconference) programs and self-paced courses. This approach helps to establish the principles of accessibility early in the product development cycle, which limits the long-term costs of accessible design.
The Bureau of Internet Accessibility’s on-site training program is flexible and can accommodate groups of all sizes. We also offer training through teleconferences, and our self-paced training courses provide individual guidance for learning the best practices of website accessibility, mobile accessibility, and PDF accessibility.
To learn more, visit our on-site accessibility training page or review our self-paced training courses.