Accessibility: Fair Access To Information

February 23, 2009
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Why should I care if our website is accessible to all consumers?

1) It might be the law. Depending on who you do business with, it might be the Federal (USA) law that your website is ADA compliant Americans With Disabilities Act). Also, it could be the law in the state(s) or foreign nations where you do business.

2) As a business ethics question, the answer might be — an accessible website is the right thing to do. That is to say, many people would consider it the “right” way to do business. Giving thought and appreciation toward your customers’ human rights makes logical business sense.

3) It might result in an increase in business. Maybe a better question to ask is: why wouldn’t I want my company’s website to be accessible to all consumers? If you have a ready and willing customer trying to conduct business with you, why would you want to shut the door on them?

Bonus: There are many hidden bonuses to a website that tries to be accessible to all consumers. For instance, making a website that most humans can access often makes it more accessible to non-humans that want to access the information (such as Google’s robots.)

Note:
Is it possible to make a 100% accessible website? Not that we have found. As an experiment, we started a project attempting to reach 100% accessibility. (see: http://membrane/free_for_all/ ) Though 100% accessibility has not yet been achieved, the side-effects of attempting to be accessible have been well worth the efforts. Cost savings due to not having to re-tool websites under Federal and State laws have been phenomenal At the same time, the increase in business activity has been through-the-roof due to the increase in traffic from both humans and robots.

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