Organizations are undergoing a shift; this shift puts accessibility much closer to the center of the organization. It's about applying the principles of design to the way everyone can access it.
Web accessibility isn't too hard to understand. It's just a combination of empathy and common sense. They're all traits that most of us, human beings share, so you've got what you need already!
Importance of web accessibility
According to data from WHO, about 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability. The truth is until your site is accessible, you are turning away these customers and leaving business unconverted. According to Fifth Quadrant Analytics, the disability market represents an annual disposable income of $1 trillion—and $544 billion in the US alone. More and more businesses are developing their online presence because that's where their customers include the disabled ones.
Why make the web-accessible
Let us imagine you run a local bakery. You have customers walking into your store from the store, and you are doing well. You'd love to do better and welcome more customers at any time. Take a good look at your store. Does your store have a ramp that will allow a wheeling chair? Are your products well labeled and legible for everyone to read?
A website is no different. Web accessibility is making the content of a website available to everyone, including those with disabilities of various orders. It is not a burden, but a process of removal of obstacles for your customers of every kind. Many of the website accessibility rules are simple, like labeling your products.
If you are wondering why no one has ever complained to you about your website, the chances are that no one will ever complain to you about it. It is because you lost the customer long ago to a more accessible website.
Understanding disabilities in the context of web usage
Disability is a substantial inability to perform/complete a task as a result of one of the following:
Physical statuses – such as blindness or motor impairment
Psychological conditions– such as cognitive disabilities or attention deficit
Technological status– low bandwidth, dial-up networks, older browsers, screen resolutions, monochrome screens.
Situational status – accessing audio in noisy environments, accessing keyboard/mouse while driving, lost spectacles.
Global statistics of disability
26% of the Americans live with a limitation of some form or the other that is 1 in every 4! The numbers are no different in Europe and Australia. There is almost one in five of the population in Europe and Australia. 13.3 million disabled people in the UK and over 4 million people in Australia have some form of disability. The 2013 disability survey estimated that a total of 1.1 million (24%) New Zealanders were disabled.
Making the web-accessible
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is currently on version 2.0, updated to help various individuals in the field of web development and design to implement specific accessibility points.
WCAG 2.0 consists of 12 guidelines governed by four principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. This guide gives out recommendations on how to make the website accessible. It also suggests how you can implement accessibility functions within the website through the help of examples and snippets of HTML Codes.
In the next blog, we will read more tips about how ONE BCG enables clients to implement the guidelines of WCAG and enables your organization to make accessibility an organization culture.