One of the most important issues faced by online businesses today is web accessibility and the ability to ensure that your content can be consumed by everyone. It is something that many business owners are still grappling with while others don’t even understand what web accessibility really means.It is important to understand that web accessibility doesn’t imply that everyone must have access to the internet – it means ensuring that online content can readily and easily be consumed by people with different types of disabilities.
Brick and mortar organizations and businesses already understand how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) affects their operations. But for most online startups and businesses, the needs of people with disabilities are often ignored.
According to AudioEye, the COVID -19 pandemic has generally exposed the underlying problem of website accessibility in the country and around the world.
In a recent website accessibility study, it was revealed that 60 percent of people with disabilities felt that they would be more vulnerable in case they are exposed to COVID-19. Most of them were concerned about the risk that comes with touching objects in public places.
Although more than 90 percent had internet connections in their homes and owned computers and smartphones, a majority of them experienced issues with digital access – something that affected their ability to work from home.
In other words, the website accessibility study shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has left many people with disabilities in a very unstable situation when it comes to digital accessibility. It has impacted their ability to access online education, work from home and handle basic things like shopping online.
What does this mean for online businesses?
Every business owner should ask himself or herself a number of questions. Is my product or service accessible to all people I serve? Who is disadvantaged and how can I change that?
The need to get more education and rope in more developers and business leaders
As mentioned earlier, some online business companies don’t adhere to WCAG guidelines simply because they are not aware of them and don’t understand the impact.
That’s why more education and awareness should be conducted on such businesses and developers. This will ensure that they take into account the needs of people with disabilities when developing websites and creating digital content.
Creating an accessibility testing plan
It will be difficult for you to know whether your website is ADA compliant or not without a proper testing mechanism. An ADA audit will reveal areas where your website is not complying with WCAG guidelines.
You risk an ADA lawsuit if it is found that your business is violating the guidelines provided by WCAG. The best thing to do is to carry out regular audits to ensure that your content can be consumed easily by everyone.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a small business, just getting started or a large corporation that has existed for many years, there’s a need to adjust to the current needs.
The world is largely controlled by technology today and almost everything is shifting online. It is important to have the needs of people with disabilities in mind when creating digital content and developing websites.