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Why It Matters: Inclusive Design and Web Accessibility

Tyra Douyon - June 29, 2023

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In the last decade, online privacy and customer data protection have been headlines in the media since targeted ads became increasingly popular with tech and advertising agencies. Apps on Apple devices now prompt users with an onscreen pop-up question about tracking their activity, and 5 U.S. states enacted comprehensive consumer data privacy laws in 2022

With so much focus on what we can control about our private information, the conversation about how more people can access its content has also emerged. By making websites accessible and incorporating inclusive designs, we ensure everyone can access online content equally. However, a report that analyzed the top one million websites found that “only 1% of those websites met the most widely used accessibility standards.” 

In recent years, Rearview Advertising has helped numerous companies incorporate website accessibility components into their digital footprint. We can do the same for your business, especially if you’re in food, housing, or other target markets for the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

Man Working on a Responsive Web Design©RawPixel.com

In today’s digital age, the internet has become an integral part of our daily lives, transforming how we work, communicate, access information, and engage with the world. However, only some experience the internet in the same way. Online accessibility ensures that individuals with disabilities, older adults, and diverse populations can navigate and benefit from the digital landscape. 

Equal Access to Information and Services

The internet is a gateway for information and services, from educational resources to e-commerce sites, government services, and social media networks. By making online content and platforms accessible, we eliminate barriers that prevent people with disabilities from fully participating in various aspects of life that rely on the internet. For instance, people with visual impairments rely on screen readers to navigate websites, and others with hearing impairments may rely on closed captions or transcripts to access video content. Ensuring compatibility with assistive technologies allows everyone to benefit from information online and the various opportunities that can be explored. 

Promoting Independence

Online accessibility empowers individuals with disabilities to be self-reliant and independent. By providing accessible interfaces and tools, people with mobility impairments, cognitive disabilities, or other limitations can carry out tasks such as shopping, banking, communication, and job searching without relying on assistance from others. By making websites and online applications accessible, we create a level playing field, enabling people with disabilities to participate in the digital economy and contribute their skills and talents. This inclusivity benefits individuals and society by tapping into a diverse talent pool and fostering economic growth.

How can companies effectively incorporate accessibility resources into their products and services? 

business, responsive design and technology concept - close up of on laptop computer, tablet pc, notebook and smartphone with scheme and internet news application on wooden table ©GroundPicture

Inclusive Design Reaches a Broader Market and Improves SEO

Web accessibility in tech is a critical hot-button issue. Companies like Apple are constantly pushing the needle to do more for their customers with disabilities. This focus ultimately drives sales, establishes consumer trust, and incentivizes repeat purchases. Google’s algorithm also favors inclusive websites. Suppose companies implement elements of website accessibility to their business. In that case, Google will reward them for their inclusion and UX design efforts by placing their site at the beginning of consumer search results. If companies seek ways to rank better and lower bounce rates, a good SEO marketing method would be to pay attention to inclusive web design.

Legal Considerations

Not only does providing online accessibility options to consumers reflect positively on online businesses that prioritize these services, but it’s also a legal and ethical obligation. In many countries, legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide guidelines and requirements for accessible web design. Non-compliance can result in legal consequences, including lawsuits and financial penalties. 

The Future of Web Accessibility 

As technology continues to evolve, so does how we interact with the digital world. By prioritizing online accessibility, we future-proof our digital infrastructure and anticipate the needs of a rapidly changing society. The principles of accessible design can be applied proactively, ensuring that emerging technologies, such as virtual reality, voice assistants, and artificial intelligence devices, are inclusive from the beginning. By doing so, we prevent the creation of new barriers and facilitate seamless transitions as technology advances. Online accessibility is not merely an option but a fundamental aspect of a fair and inclusive digital society. Embracing online accessibility benefits individuals, businesses, and society and fosters innovation and creativity.

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If your company wants to improve its website accessibility, Rearview Advertising has the knowledge to provide users with a convenient and inclusive online experience. Contact us today for more information. 

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