Everyone has a role to play in ensuring digital accessibility. The new Section 508 Standards of the Rehabilitation Act require that persons provide content that is accessible to people with disabilities. It’s especially true for those who work as government writers. Government websites are intended to be accessible to the general public. Stakeholders, including those who need the knowledge the most, are unable to access restricted content. A few, by no means all-inclusive, list of why it’s good to make things more accessible and why it could be a bad idea if you don’t follow below.
If you need help creating content for your website, consider contacting QualityLogic for support. You’ll get access to a team of experts that can aid you in developing a user-friendly website that will bring in more customers and help you establish your brand more rapidly.
To Remove Physical Limitations, We Can Use the Internet
The capacity to obtain information is growing in importance in today’s digital age. As a result, it is essential that websites and other digital resources be made accessible to people of varying abilities and disabilities.
A number of strategies exist for making sure people can reach your website or other online content. Make sure that a screen reader can access your site, that images have alternative text, and that the site can be used with just a keyboard.
Making your website or other digital resources accessible to the general public is a step toward ensuring that all people have an equal opportunity to benefit from them.
Growing Your Customer Base While Keeping Your Current Ones Happy
One out of every four persons in the United States has a handicap, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (CDC). Facilitating access to your content makes it simpler for your audience to use your services and products and learn more about your company. It will also make it simpler for customers to utilize your services and increase the frequency with which they do so.
Usability For All Users is Much Better
Many of the improvements made to satisfy disabled users’ concerns actually make the site simpler to use for all users, not just those with disabilities. A typical household item might be the key to a more inclusive digital world.
Links should accurately depict the content to which they lead for users of screen readers. Notifying all users about what they could see if they all clicked the same link is, nevertheless, crucial. When a chart is too complex or too difficult to read, a data table or alternative language is included to help all users better understand the data, making it easier to utilize and share the precise data and assistance explaining data.
Accessibility Laws For the Internet
To our knowledge, the ADA has not yet been updated to include internet accessibility as a requirement from the US Department of Justice. It instead sticks to its long-held belief that the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to this situation.
However, the problem of internet access might be used to bolster other laws. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 includes Section 508, which mandates that government entities provide information in accessible formats for people with disabilities. If they can’t make the data and information provided through these platforms accessible to people with disabilities, they need to offer an alternative option. The disabled and the non-disabled should have the same opportunities to use public spaces.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CCVA) of 2010 amended the Communications Act of 1934 to include new guidelines for making modern technologies usable by people with disabilities. Title II of the law contains a number of provisions intended to ensure that all Americans have equal access to televisions, television services, television programs, and online streaming media. The requirements for providing “advanced” telecommunications equipment and services are laid forth in Title I of the statute.
Directive (EU) 2016/2102 was enacted in 2016 to establish accessibility requirements across the European Union. This maintained legal uniformity throughout all EU member states. An EU directive lays forth an overarching goal but leaves the specific means of implementation up to the member states.
If You Break the Law, What Will Happen to You?
Imagine that content creators do not make their work accessible. If that happens, it may impact them in a number of ways: by making their content less accessible, less helpful, and less pleasant for their customers.
There has been an increase in the number of lawsuits brought in the previous decade against businesses and organizations that have not complied with Section 508. Adhering to the 508 examples can assist government entities in avoiding costly lawsuits and the implications that come with them (such as unfavorable publicity and public opinion).
If you want to meet Section 508 requirements, you’ll likely need to build out any material or features that aren’t already accessible. The result is increased costs, more work, and waste. This extra work costs time and money, annoys content providers, slows down program and project delivery, and damages the company’s standing with its constituents. Getting more bids and making additional purchases may be necessary if you’re looking for something truly one-of-a-kind to buy. This would be harder to achieve and more expensive to do.
Users with disabilities may be forced to look elsewhere for assistance if their needs are not routinely met, and users without disabilities may decide against using your services as a result.
In addition, your disabled employees may be less productive if you don’t provide enough accommodations for them. Because of this, it would only be possible to keep on board such a wide range of exceptional people. Research shows that a more diversified staff is beneficial to a company’s overall profitability, especially in the area of strategic planning. Furthermore, you may not be able to recruit qualified people with disabilities if your hiring process requires applicant interfaces, documentation, forms, etc., that are inaccessible to them.
The need for a consistent, consensus-based growth plan is clear as more businesses realize the benefits of hiring people from a wide range of backgrounds and catering to a wide range of customers. If a company has a history of inadequately purchasing or deploying accessible digital solutions, they are not serving people with disabilities well. If a government organization has a track record of inadvertently purchasing or supplying accessible digital solutions, businesses will be less likely to produce accessible products and services regularly.
Maintaining compliance with regulations for digital accessibility is critical for the success of your business. But it’s a big job, so be prepared. You should find out where to start or how connected you are now. QualityLogic can examine your existing systems and processes and provide you with a free consultation. They can work together to build a plan that works for you. Visit www.qualitylogic.com for more details.