Compliance sounds hard. It feels like things you have to do but never want to do. With synonyms like deference, obedience, and submissiveness, that makes sense and maybe isn't wrong. But there is another side to the compliance coin where ideas like freedom, creativity, and peace-of-mind live. Let's check out that side for a moment.
When a website or app is compliant with accessibility laws or standards, it means that people with disabilities can use it — that compliance has made way for actual usability.
Compliance can be liberating
If the word compliance feels limiting, for the millions of people in the U.S. whose disability impacts the way they use the web, it's actually the exact opposite.
By websites or apps being compliant with laws and best practices, real individuals are empowered to use, read, share, or contribute to content without being unnecessarily prevented because of their disability. Maybe compliance isn't limiting at all, but liberating.
Read: Is Website Accessibility Worth It?
Compliance can be beautiful
Building a great website or any digital tool that people actually want to use requires a lot of planning, a compelling product, and a welcoming design, especially in the era of ultra digital saturation.
Everyone wants their sites to look amazing and it feels natural to shy away from anything that might jeopardize that. But here's the thing: accessibility doesn't ruin websites, it makes them better for everyone.
Read: Creative Site Design That's Beautiful and Accessible.
Compliance can be comforting
One of the best parts of complying with laws and standards can actually be the peace that comes with it. Digital accessibility lawsuits are continuing at a high rate and worrying about receiving a demand letter or complaint is stressful.
Knowing that assets have been tested and fixed to be accessible to people with disabilities is key, as are ongoing monitoring and support. Services like a quarterly Letter of Reasonable AccessibilityTM can help.
Businesses should definitely feel good about accessibility, but be reminded that it isn't a one-time fix.