Some people believe that having an accessible website means that it’s ‘live’ and you can access it from a computer or mobile device. Others think about ramps, lifts, access maps and disabled toilets for the physical location that a website might be pointing visitors to. The truth is, being ‘accessible’ online is a whole lot more than that. And that ‘whole lot more’ is simply not clearly understood by the majority of people who build, code, design, write, or project manage websites.
Creating Word documents that can be read and understood by a diverse range of people, is just as vital as creating accessible, inclusive websites and online content. Imagine going to a recruitment website and downloading the Position Description as a Word document, or being sent it as an email attachment, only to find that you cannot access the document using your screen reader (if you are blind or vision-impaired) can’t listen to the linked podcast (if you are Deaf or hearing impaired), or simply can’t understand large sections of it because the document is full of industry jargon that is not explained.
Digital agencies and suppliers who are across web accessibility, gain a competitive advantage when dealing with Government agencies and corporates, ensure a great user experience for those with a disability (and everyone else), and also mitigate the litigation risk for clients. Three great reasons to get accessible!
Government agencies and businesses are increasingly including accessibility as a critical requirement in their tenders. Why? One in five Australians have a disability, some of whom find it difficult to access web content due to poor design and coding. Add to this our ageing population, and more people than ever coming to Australia with English as a second language, and it all adds up to millions of people with massive spending power and influence.