May 19, 2016 | Amy Abt | Marketing Director

Walking the Walk on Global Accessibility Awareness Day

For most of us, web accessibility might seem like a remote and distant issue. We vaguely know it’s important (or know we should think it’s important), but we don’t really know why.

If you’re someone who doesn’t live with a disability, navigating and communicating over the internet comes so easily you probably don’t even notice you’re doing it until something goes wrong. Your Wifi goes out, a page won’t load, you accidentally press something on your keyboard and now the entire screen is written in Mandarin. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, the effect is jolting. We feel lost, disconnected, like some vital part of our daily lives has suddenly been pulled out from underneath us. Now picture encountering that feeling nearly every single time you turn on the computer.

According to the US Census Bureau, about one in five people in America are living with some kind of disability (including visual, physical or motor, auditory, speech or language, cognitive and age-related impairments). For those people, using the internet can often be a frustrating, fruitless or demeaning experience. The vast majority of websites on the internet today do not follow web accessibility best practices, making them difficult or impossible for a significant portion of the population to use. Seems pretty unfair, doesn’t it?

As we celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness day today, one of the most important takeaways we’d like to stress is that, for companies, embracing web accessibility isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do.

How? Some of the benefits of creating an accessible website include:

  • Improved SEO
  • Easier maintenance
  • Wider device and environment support
  • Boosted e-commerce as you’re able to reach more users

…just to name a few.

If those reasons alone don’t connect with you, consider this: web accessibility is quickly becoming the legal and ethical standard in our country. Do you want your company to be ahead of the curve, setting the precedent in your industry? Or do you want to wait until the last minute, scrambling to make your website meet the bare minimum requirements?

At Westwerk, we’re proud to say that we’re taking a step forward toward greater web accessibility. In addition to offering our expertise to our clients, we’ll also be doing our part to incorporate best practices into our own website. We can’t talk the talk if we don’t walk the walk, right? Let’s all start walking it together.

For a more detailed look at what web accessibility is and some of the standards in place today, head over to our previous blog post on the topic.

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