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Web Accessibility 101

What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities. When web pages are correctly designed, all users can have equal access to the information on them.

Who Is Affected?

There are different disabilities that affect people using the web, including:

  • Auditory – Difficulty hearing, deafness and hearing impairments
  • Cognitive – Conditions that affect the brain’s memory, attention or ability to interpret information
  • Motor – Various forms of paralysis caused by injury, congenital conditions and tremors
  • Visual – Blindness, color blindness and low-vision caused by various eye conditions

Why Is It Important?

Legal liability is a common reason organizations work to make their websites accessible, and increasingly websites are being held legally accountable. According to the Seyfarth ADA Title III News & Insights Blog, the number of website accessibility lawsuits filed in federal court increased by 177% from 2017 to 2018.

But the importance of digital accessibility goes beyond legal regulations! According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), new government research finds 61 million U.S. adults – about 1 in 4 Americans – have a disability that impacts a major part of their life.

Did you know?
Approximately 71% of web users with a disability will simply leave a website that is not accessible.

With 23.6 percent of adults in the state of Georgia having some type of disability, this represents a significant loss of traffic, clientele and audience. By making digital content accessible, we can:

  • Broaden our reach to more audiences
  • Increase traffic to the website
  • Optimize search ranking potential
  • Improve the site and increase usability for all visitors
  • Generate positive PR and brand awareness
  • Demonstrate a commitment and care for people with disabilities
  • Comply with legislation to reduce legal liabilities
  • Protect the brand
  • Standardize Web design, build and maintenance
  • Cut overall production costs

What Can Content Managers Do for a More Accessible Website?

Achieving accessibility for your website not only relies heavily on design, but also content. To stay proactive about digital accessibility during content creation, use the Web Accessibility Checklist for content managers.