Making your company’s website accessible to individuals who need assistance offers many benefits, including competitive advantage. One out of every four adults in the United States is affected by some sort of disability, yet most businesses continue to cut corners in this area because they don’t understand how to approach web accessibility.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, is a law prohibiting discrimination against individuals who need assistance with accessibility. Most businesses usually think about physical accommodations such as wheelchair access when mentioning ADA compliance, but these regulations also extend to the online community meaning every business with a website needs to be accessible to all Internet users.
The astonishing number of inaccessible websites out there means that prudent business owners who are proactive enough to pursue steps towards compliance are not simply following the law, they are also tapping into a segment of the buying community that has a large amount of money to spend, but fewer online options to turn to spend it.
We get it. Small and medium-sized businesses need to carefully allocate their resources to efforts they feel will likely make a reasonable return on their investment and the first reaction may be to see web accessibility as too costly.
If this describes your business, then I hope you will consider the following story.
Nancy is a friend of mine who recently tested the waters of the red-hot real estate market. Nancy has difficulty with visual impairment and her early online experiences were marred with problems. Unlabeled form fields made it impossible for her to locate where to put in key search terms, and graphics that were unlabeled left her without any real idea what she was looking at. She felt discouraged and, worse, inadequate.
Still, Nancy pressed on and discovered a few real estate websites that included accessibility options for individuals who were visually impaired. She was able to navigate these sites with astonishing ease because of the accessibility options that these sites had included. Screen reading options were available, images had descriptions and she could enter key search terms.
The difference between the earlier websites that left Nancy so frustrated and the ones that offered her the navigational options were that the latter sites referred to a company called LevelField.ai – a company with specific expertise in ADA accessibility compliance. It turns out that LevelField.ai has the technological know-how to run diagnostic procedures on a company’s website to find hidden vulnerabilities and the company will work with you to implement the required improvements to make all consumer-facing web pages accessible.
I spoke with the leadership team at LevelField.ai and asked them how they’ve been so successful. Their response was how remarkably committed their team is towards their mission: Helping small and medium-sized businesses see how little friction is involved in obtaining web accessibility compliance and how simply it can be achieved.
The rates that LevelField.ai offers are surprisingly affordable, and certainly worth considering if an audience with the global potential buying power of $8 trillion is of interest.
“Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act”
Sammi Caramela – “Is Your Website ADA Compliant?” June 22, 2020