By: The National Business & Disability Council at the Viscardi Center
Your digital content could be costing you business, and might even be putting you at legal risk.
Whether it’s by attempting to make a purchase, watch a video, review a document or schedule an appointment, when users can’t access your website and other digital content, they’re likely to go find what they need elsewhere. Moreover, if your website violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or established accessibility standards, your organization could face legal trouble. No matter the reason, it’s important to address digital accessibility issues before they pose problems later on.
Organizations should prioritize how they address digital accessibility by asking the following questions:
While addressing digital accessibility should always be a priority, it’s critical to address access issues on your website or other digital media (videos, documents, etc.) that violate accessibility standards and guidelines. Note, lawsuits don’t have to be filed solely by users with disabilities. In fact, it only takes one person being unable to use a function of your site to provoke a lawsuit. Don’t put your entire business at risk by ignoring key accessibility requirements.
2. Is Our Core Content Accessible?
What are the primary reasons visitors access your website or digital content? Is it to manage an account or pay a bill? Is it to watch a video or purchase a product? Consider the core reasons a person uses your websites or apps and ensure these are the first aspects of accessibility you address. These reasons will vary based on your business functions. For example, a user’s primary reason for visiting a bank website may be to conduct a transaction, so ensuring this process is accessible is imperative. However, a user’s primary reason for visiting a manufacturer’s website might be to download instructions or watch a video tutorial. This means focus should be aimed at making sure those key elements are accessible. Be sure to put the key reasons people access your digital content at the top of your priority list.
Beyond your homepage, consider your most viewed content areas and how users navigate to them. Are the common entry points to main pages, user flows and downloadable information evident? Is the path to complete transactions (i.e. order products) clear? Ensure paths move in a logical manner for screen readers and other assistive technology.
Written by Raegan Bartlo