Digital Accessibility in Retail Spaces: Why is digital accessibility important?

By Katie Link • Feb 08, 2021
Envision Workforce Innovation Center employee analyzing the accessibility of a website

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Internet usage has increased due to COVID-19, making ecommerce important to all businesses (opens in new window), yet 97.8 percent of website home pages (opens in new window) had detectable Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2 AA failures.  Meeting digital accessibility standards allows people of all ages and abilities to access information on-line.  
Accessible websites provide a seamless, user-friendly experience while driving growth, increasing customer loyalty and reaching a wider audience.  61 million people, or 1 in 4 adults, have a disability in the United States.  Businesses that neglect this community leave $490 billion in market opportunity (opens in new window) on the table.   Having an accessible website also increases Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (opens in new window), making your company easier to find as well as broadening your audience reach.

So how does a business or organization ensure its website is accessible?  Simple, there are really two methods for conducting these accessibility audits.  The first step is to perform an audit using an automated software driven program.  The second is through manual testing by individuals using the same assistive technology that people with disabilities use when on-line.  From a technological standpoint, automated testing only detects 25-40 percent of accessibility issues.  Manual testing is much more effective because an actual user navigates the website to check for legal compliance and overall usability of the website’s functions.  While some companies may choose the automated testing route, industry leaders and those that value inclusion use a mix of both automated and manual testing. 

Ensuring your website is accessible will not just help avoid expensive litigation fees; it will better equip your business for long-term success in a growing digital world. 

At the end of the day, the customer is what matters. Taking the time to give all of your customers’ equal access to your website will create positive experiences for everyone. 

If you would like to learn more about website accessibility, please contact us at the BVI Workforce Innovation Center, Katie Link, Business Development Director, katie.link@envisionus.com, (316) 440-1513.