The Case for Web Accessibility

If you’ve used the Internet within the last 20 years, you’ve probably heard of web accessibility.

But if you’ve never heard of it or need a refresher, don’t worry—we’ll walk you through the basic gist of web accessibility and why it should inform your business.

Web accessibility definition

Web accessibility means that people are able to perceive, understand, navigate, interact, and even contribute to the Web (W3C Web Accessibility Initiative, 2022)

If reading that made you raise your eyebrow and think “Huh, that’s definitely far from reality”, you’re right on the dot, my friend.

As of March 2022, there are 1.93 billion websites online. At least part of this growth can be attributed to website-building platforms like Showit that have made it easier for people to create websites without having to know a single line of code.

That said, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

Why is web accessibility important?

WebAIM, a non-profit organization under the Institute for Disability Research, Policy, and Practice at Utah State University, evaluated 1 million home pages of the most influential sites in the world.

Across 1 million pages, WebAIM found over 50 million unique accessibility errors—or around 51 errors per page.

That’s alarming because about 15 percent, or 1 billion, of the world’s population has some form of disability (World Health Organization, 2021).

This number is only expected to grow with the aging population, meaning the demand for websites designed with accessibility considerations is also projected to increase.

General accessibility statistics

Since we hail from Canada, you’ll see statistics relevant to our home base as well as the US and the world.

  • The average age of onset for vision-related difficulties among Canadians is 35 years old and their activities became limited, on average, around eight years later (Statistics Canada, 2017).
  • Globally, people with disabilities (PWD), including family and friends, control $13 billion in disposable income (The Return on Disability, 2020).
  • In Canada alone, 6.2 million PWD control $55.4 billion in annual disposable income (The Globe and Mail, 2017).

Web accessibility problems

Now, let’s talk about some common website barriers.

  • 83.9% of home pages have low contrast text – the most common accessibility issue (WebAIM, 2022)
  • 55.4% of images on home pages didn’t have alternative (alt) text (WebAIM, 2022)
  • 67% of surveyed accessibility practitioners rated accessibility overlays, widgets, and plugins as not being very effective in terms of improving a webpage’s accessibility (WebAIM, 2021)

Conclusion

There’s an audience that’s waiting to be served.

Our point isn’t to scare or overwhelm you; in fact, it’s to challenge you, the creative entrepreneur.

Although making websites 100 percent accessible is heavily reliant on code, something our no-code platforms fall short on, there’s still potential and a need to cater to part of this untapped and underserved market.

With a few tweaks in design and how you structure your website, you can potentially reach a wider audience—one that currently feels that they can’t engage with other businesses/websites.

Because disability doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) disqualify someone from being your ideal client.

And the good news is, they’re waiting for someone like you who can welcome them through the virtual doors of your digital space and treat them like VIPs.

Are you up for it?

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