Did you know that one billion people worldwide live with disability today? The number of disabled adults in the US alone has reached 61 million. That’s over 1 in 4 adults nationwide. One of the biggest challenges facing society today is giving equal access to these people, especially on the internet.
Think about it. If a website isn’t set up properly, many disabled persons won’t be able to access the information, goods, or services offered online. What does this mean to these people and to the businesses that miss this important population? Let’s find out.
90% of Websites Fail to Serve Those Living With Disability
Let’s say you have musculoskeletal problems that prevent you from using a computer mouse. How do you navigate a website menu? How do you scroll up and down? Some people with upper extremity problems use the TAB and arrow buttons on their keyboard to move around on a website. That is, if the site is coded properly. If not, it’s basically impossible.
The reality is that up to 90% of websites can’t be navigated effectively with keyboard commands. Some feel that these accessibility obstacles are a form of discrimination. It’s similar to not having wheelchair or handicapped access to a brick and mortar business.
The 12+ Million Strong Market
Approximately 12 million people 40 years and over in the US have vision impairment. Furthermore, nearly 3 percent of children younger than 18 years are blind or visually impaired. This means that literally millions of people can’t use websites that aren’t set up for people with serious vision problems.
The sad thing is that it’s relatively simple to modify a website to meet the needs of this huge segment. With some simple coding, it’s possible for screen reading technology to help blind users understand a website.
The issues surrounding website accessibility aren’t minor. For example,
- 1000s of lawsuits: Claiming discrimination, many disabled persons have sued companies with website access issues. The courts almost unanimously favor the plaintiffs. Thousands of businesses of all sizes have been named in ADA website accessibility court cases.
- Missed business opportunity: People with disabilities control over $490 billion in disposable income. If a company’s site isn’t user friendly, these potential customers are lost.
- Covid-19 impact: More and more people and businesses are interacting online. This makes it even more challenging for the disabled population.
Most Brands Miss The Point
Many companies feel like accessibility issues are a hassle. Meanwhile, they pour huge sums of money into marketing and outreach efforts. When it comes to serving people with disability, it’s a no brainer. It’s the right thing to do, and it increases your market reach big time.
Still, many brands think it’s way too complicated to make their website accessible to the disabled, but in reality it’s not. In fact, more website designers than ever can make the required updates faster and affordably. You can easily outsource this and get your site up to speed.
How To Upgrade Your Website for Accessibility
It’s not hard to make your website fit for accessibility standards. You can start by checking out some simple Tips To Make Your Website Accessible.
Some businesses may not have the skills or resources to make these changes. That’s why accessibility services, such as Adally, have appeared to make sure companies can remain compliant, minimize risk, and tap into a huge, hidden market segment.
Get a Free Toplevel Homepage Scan & Report to see if your site meets accessibility standards.