Business owners and website managers have to weigh the time and cost against the benefit of changes and upkeep to their website. For many, this leads to a simple question: Is website accessibility worth it? In part one, brand and company culture, lawsuit protection, audience reach and SEO, and the bottom line were highlighted. Here in part two, let's look a little deeper, from privacy and security to accessibility feeling good.
Privacy and security
There is usually little wonder whether it's worth it for companies to do what they can to boost privacy and security. What's not always realized, however, is that accessibility is actually tied to these critical aspects of website operation. People use the websites and tools in sometimes very different ways; when those differences aren't accounted for, some people become more vulnerable to privacy and security risks.
More specifically, inaccessibility can increase the possibility of financial exploitation and user error, which increase risk. Read: Accessibility Is Privacy and Security.
Attracting top talent
In addition to career websites needing to be accessible under the law, accessibility in the hiring process (including with the information available on public websites) can help companies attract top talent, improve company performance, prevent discrimination, and support diversity.
Increasingly, successful organizations are recognizing their people as a competitive edge. Read: How to Hire Top Talent With an Accessibility Mindset.
Lots of free tools and resources
While many would agree that accessibility is an investment, it is still true that there can be costs associated with that investment. While usually not as expensive as defending an accessibility lawsuit or the opportunity cost of inaccessibility, it does cost money to hire accessibility experts or remediation firms.
There are a lot of free tools and resources out there to help those interested in learning more about accessibility, including their own site's accessibility, before diving into a full remediation effort. Here are some:
- The a11y® Color Contrast Accessibility Validator
- Free graded accessibility report
- Digital Accessibility Newsletter
- Digital Accessibility Blog
- Website Accessibility Checklist
- Free consultation
It can feel good
Some individuals and organizations view accessibility purely as a compliance-driven effort, and that is okay. Not everyone needs to have personal passion for customer experience. For some, though, accessibility feels good. If you're one of those people, here's some reassurance that it's okay to take some pride in accessibility. You're improving your business and the customer experience — go ahead and feel good about it. Read: It's Okay to Feel Good About Accessibility.