Why should accessibility consultants be hired?

Why should accessibility consultants be hired?

Digital accessibility is often overlooked by marketing teams, despite 25 percent of the population identifying as disabled. Considering digital accessibility is important to expanding inclusive practices and extending your market reach.

Companies can outsource digital accessibility testing to an accessibility consultant who can help identify access barriers and create solutions. Digital accessibility consultants are trained in website accessibility services and will train a company’s internal team to spot and remove accessibility hurdles.

Often, marketing teams opt for automated testing programs, but automated testers usually overlook key accessibility concerns. Automated checkers improve accessibility when developers lack specific knowledge. However, nothing substitutes employing real live testers with the first-hand experience to shape the creation of inclusive platforms.

Live accessibility consultants will work with your team to test your digital accessibility and create solutions. These consultants are familiar with WCAG and the ADA in addition to knowledge about digital accessibility. Many live consultants use accessibility tools like screen readers and have first-hand understanding about how to identify problems and what corrections are necessary.

More than 56 million Americans have a disability. This is often an overlooked market. 71 percent of disabled consumers will abandon a site or app if it’s inaccessible, but 82 percent of these consumers will spend more money on an accessible site. 

Including digital accessibility in your team’s marketing plan leads to a broader customer base.

Here are some additional reasons to hire an accessibility consultant.

Failing to prioritize accessibility can lead to fines and lawsuits.

There’s potential for legal ramifications and financial penalties for companies not ensuring digital accessibility. In 2019, legal actions were filed about once an hour, equaling about 40 each week. Practicing disability inclusion from the beginning means a company is less likely to experience ADA-related legal actions.

Inaccessibility risks a brand’s reputation.

There can be public backlash when a company overlooks inclusive design. As disabled customers grow frustrated with inaccessible websites and apps, they are not willing to accept this digital divide.

Recently, attention was given to a lawsuit made against Domino’s Pizza, when a blind customer was not able to order on its site or app. Domino’s lost and was ordered to make all digital platforms accessible. This story picked up speed in the media, spotlighting the digital divide for disabled people.

Everyone wins with accessibility.

Inclusive practices are important to a brand. Everyone benefits when accessibility is considered before websites and apps are built. Ensuring a brand is synonymous with accessibility broadens market reach and will increase financial gains.

Providing access for the majority improves consumer experiences for everyone, not just a few. Disabled people can be included in your marketing plan. Plus, people’s abilities change over time. When accessibility is considered from the beginning, customers can continue to use your platforms regardless of changing abilities. 

When more consumers can access your platform, you will see an improvement in performance and metrics. Your company will see increased conversion rates, improved load time, increased search rankings, gain more links and enhance social sharing.

Including accessibility into your brand’s platform demonstrates your company is dedicated to disability inclusion. Your company will avoid lengthy and costly lawsuits and not risk your brand’s reputation. Considering digital accessibility will broaden your market reach, potentially increasing your customer base.

Equity and inclusion are growing concerns for consumers. Digital accessibility benefits everyone in this scenario. Inclusive design doesn’t focus solely on disabled customers, but on all customers.

Outlook Business Solutions provides website accessibility services and can partner with your team to ensure all of your digital items are accessible to everyone. Contact us today to get started.