Web accessibility and ensuring that your content can be consumed by everyone is now one of the most important problems companies face. Still, it remains surprisingly off the radar of many brands, particularly among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Many small business owners don’t even understand exactly what the term really means.

No, web accessibility does not mean ensuring that everyone has internet access. Web accessibility refers to ensuring that all online content can be readily consumed by people with disabilities.

 

Lack of web accessibility is synonymous with losing potential customers

Individuals with disabilities represent 6.1 of the Portuguese population, according to data from the 2001 Censuses collected in Pordata. There are more than 630,000 people.

While a lawsuit is certainly a frightening possibility for a small and medium-sized company, many people with disabilities will not go through this legal process after discovering that their site will not work with the equipment of Assistance. Instead, they’ll choose not to do business with your business.

A STUDY conducted in the UK found that “nine out of ten people do not bother complaining about website accessibility problems.” Despite this, the study found that 71 of the people with disabilities will abandon a difficult-to-use site. This results in an estimated loss of more than €13.2 billion a year in the UK alone.

Many companies that do not meet web accessibility standards will not receive complaints from their lost customers. But there will be an impact on the final result as these potential customers go to competitors who do not put barriers to accessibility on their way.

 

Make web accessibility a priority

Proactive handling of any web accessibility issues your brand faces should become a priority for this year and for the following. If you hire a digital agency to create a new website for your brand, make sure that this agency understands the accessibility of the site and has the tools and knowledge needed to create a website that supports global accessibility standards.

Even if your site does not undergo a major reformulation, you should audit your content and source code to find and fix the issues that prevent you from being accessible to everyone. The best rule is to follow the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Web Accessibility Accessibility Guidelines.

These guidelines cover a wide variety of elements to ensure compliance with web accessibility – from proper use of alternative text to keyboard-only navigation. Optimizing your content for a wide range of needs highlights your dedication to your audience. Web accessibility can also yield dividends on your overall customer base.

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