Making the Business Case for Accessibility
In today’s digital world, accessibility is not just a legal requirement but also a smart business decision. By prioritizing accessibility, companies can tap into a significant market opportunity and gain a competitive advantage. With over 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide, making products and services accessible can open doors to sell to more customers, including those with disabilities. Additionally, creating accessible products and services can help companies compete in sectors like banking and government, where procurement gatekeepers deny purchases of products that fall short on accessibility. In this article, we will discuss how accessibility can drive growth and help in making the business case for accessibility. You can also get a high level overview of the basics of accessiblity testing by viewing this video.
1. Drives Growth and Competitive Advantage:
One of the most significant benefits of prioritizing accessibility is that it can drive growth and competitive advantage. According to the World Health Organization, there are over 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide, which represents a significant market opportunity. However, many companies fail to tap into this market because their digital products and services are not accessible. By making their products and services accessible, companies can open doors to sell to more customers, including those with disabilities. Additionally, accessibility can help companies compete in sectors like banking and government, where procurement gatekeepers deny purchases of products that fall short on accessibility.
Return on Disability, a company that models the impact of prioritizing disability-related work on company performance, found that accessibility is not only a moral imperative but also a smart business decision. Their research showed that the disability market represents a $1 trillion opportunity. Moreover, by creating accessible products and services, companies can tap into the global market of people with disabilities and their friends and family, who prefer to support organizations whose products are accessible. Together, they control over $13 trillion in disposable income.
2. Aligns With Many Companies’ Stated Values and Commitments:
Another approach to convincing your boss to invest in accessibility is to align it with the company’s stated values and commitments. Several accessibility leaders have spoken about connecting their efforts to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts that already have executive support. By framing accessibility as part of DE&I, companies can make it a strategic priority that aligns with their values and commitments.
For example, Capital One drew connections to its corporate values of “excellence” and “doing the right thing” when starting its accessibility work over a decade ago. Similarly, Humana’s digital accessibility lead used age as the doorway to inclusion, educating her company on how accessibility improvements help older adults, who are a significant customer segment to Humana as a healthcare provider.
Aligning accessibility with the company’s values and commitments can also help companies attract and retain talent. According to a survey by Glassdoor, 67% of job seekers said that a diverse workforce was an essential factor when evaluating companies and job offers. By prioritizing accessibility, companies can signal to job seekers that they are committed to DE&I, which can help them attract and retain top talent.
3. Reduces IT Costs:
Another benefit of prioritizing accessibility is that it can reduce IT costs. By building accessibility into the company’s software development process upstream, companies can prevent costly and time-consuming rework down the line. Addressing accessibility issues early in the development process can also reduce the number of defects going into production, which can save companies time and money.
Additionally, by investing in accessibility, companies can avoid the cost of legal action. Accessibility lawsuits are on the rise, and they can be costly and time-consuming for companies. By making their products and services accessible, companies can avoid legal action and save money in the long run.
4. Creates Better Experiences for Everyone:
Finally, creating accessible products and services can create better experiences for everyone, including people without disabilities. Accessibility accommodations like closed captions, alt text, and transcripts can benefit everyone, even those without disabilities. Closed captions can be useful in noisy environments or when watching videos in …public places. Alt text and transcripts can make content more accessible and searchable, which can benefit everyone. By making digital products and services more accessible, companies can create better experiences for their customers, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue.
Moreover, accessibility is becoming increasingly important from a legal standpoint. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. Many other countries have similar laws and regulations that require businesses to provide accessible products and services. Failure to comply with these laws can result in costly lawsuits, negative publicity, and damage to the company’s reputation.Therefore, it’s essential to prioritize accessibility not only to avoid legal troubles but also to create a better and more inclusive world. Accessibility is not just about accommodating people with disabilities but also about creating a more accessible and inclusive world for everyone.
In conclusion, accessibility is not only a moral imperative but also a smart business decision that can benefit companies in many ways. By highlighting the benefits of prioritizing accessibility that align with your boss’s priorities and motivations, you can make a compelling case for accessibility. Moreover, by aligning accessibility with the company’s values and commitments, companies can attract and retain talent and signal to customers that they are committed to DE&I. By reducing IT costs and creating better experiences for everyone, accessibility can help companies compete and thrive in today’s digital world.