In a digital world where every click on your website can shape perceptions, prioritizing accessibility is more than a checkbox. It’s a strategic choice that can boost your business. Understanding and investing in the power of digital accessibility is necessary for any business to succeed in the evolving online world.
The cost of accessibility
Whether reviewing your current state or building a new site, there is a cost to making your website accessible. It’s also not a one-time initiative. An accessible website needs ongoing attention and improvement, making organizational buy-in critical. And given that the benefits and return on investment happen over time, a well-crafted business case is essential.
Key steps for organizational buy-in
To build a business case that generates buy-in consider the following steps:
1. Highlight the essentials: Why does accessibility matter?
Accessibility matters for multiple reasons. Use your business case to highlight these important considerations.
The cost of inaction
Let’s be real. Money matters. While accessibility comes with a cost, inaction may be more harmful. Excluding people, damaging your reputation, and lawsuits are all possible effects. Furthermore, remediating a website to add accessibility is much more difficult and expensive than including accessibility standards from the beginning. Spending on accessibility is a wise investment to protect your brand, business and values.
Making your website and digital products accessible is the right thing to do. Beyond that, it is crucial for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) practices. An accessible website recognizes and respects individual abilities and needs. It welcomes the largest group of people and reflects a conscious approach to inclusion. Providing accessible content is a statement of your commitment to diversity and equality.
Though they shouldn’t be your first motivation, legal implications are a practical reality. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes access to information and communications technologies as a human right. With growing awareness about disability issues and access to the web, lawmakers in North America and worldwide have either passed, or are in the process of passing web accessibility laws.
2. Understand your level of investment
Building an accessible website means following standards set at three levels by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG): A, AA, and AAA. Each level signifies a distinct degree of accessibility, ranging from covering the fundamentals (Level A) to offering the most accessible experience (Level AAA).
Each level varies in cost. As you aim for higher accessibility, the effort and resources needed for implementation also increase. When building a case for website accessibility, consider what level will best align with your needs, values, and budget.
3. Demonstrate the return on investment
Outline the positive impact that an accessible website will have on the health of your business.
Enhancing your brand
Your brand is your identity. By prioritizing accessibility, you send a powerful message about your values, commitment to inclusivity, and level of social responsibility.
Broadening your customer base
An accessible website can broaden your audience. By helping them find you and making them welcome when they arrive. According to The World Bank, 1 billion people, or 15% of the population, experience some form of disability. Accessibility also plays a role in improved search performance, because algorithms favor websites that demonstrate accessibility in their code.
In a crowded market, customer loyalty is gold. Developing your website with accessibility in mind can become a selling point that leads to lasting customer commitment.
4. Bring it all together
Ultimately, there are two main arguments that your business case should make:
Spending on accessibility secures the future
An accessible website is a pledge to foster a sustainable future for your business and an accessible digital world. By aligning with the values of conscious consumers and ensuring universal access to the tools of daily life, you can help your business be responsible, stable, and adaptable.
Spending on accessibility is wise
Accessibility is an investment that pays off in the long run. It can safeguard your brand, reputation, and the longevity of your business.
When every click matters, make clicks on your website count by prioritizing accessibility. Use your business case to highlight how this long-term investment can contribute to inclusivity and protect the future of your business.
Are you considering a website accessibility project this year? Read more about Mangrove’s digital accessibility services, which include remediation and from-the-ground-up builds.
Photo by Alexander Rumpel on Unsplash.
A Certified B Corp, Mangrove is a woman-owned website design and development company with a diverse, talented team distributed around the globe. We’ve been building websites since 2009 that amplify the work of change-making organizations and increase the competitive power of businesses owned by historically marginalized people.
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