Everyone can help to ensure digital accessibility. The Rehabilitation Act’s new Section 508 Standards demand that people offer material that is accessible to people with impairments. This is especially true for individuals who write for the government. The general public is supposed to be able to access government websites. Stakeholders, particularly those requiring the most information, cannot access protected content. Here are a few reasons why it’s beneficial to make things more accessible and why it could be a terrible idea if you don’t follow the steps below.
Consider contacting QualityLogic for assistance in developing content for your website. You’ll get access to a team of specialists that can help you create a user-friendly website that will attract more clients and help you establish your brand more quickly.
Using the Internet to Overcome Physical Barriers
In today’s digital age, the ability to get information is becoming increasingly important. As a result, websites and other digital resources must be made accessible to persons with diverse skills and limitations.
There are several methods for ensuring that people can access your website or other online material. Check that a screen reader can access your site, that pictures have alternate text, and that the site can be used with only a keyboard. Making your website or other digital resources available to the broader public is a step toward ensuring that everyone has equal access to them.
Increasing Your Customer Base While Keeping Your Current Customers Satisfied
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every four people in the United States has a disability (CDC). Making your material more accessible makes it easier for your audience to use your services and goods and learn more about your organization. It will also make it easier for clients to use your services and boost their frequency of use.
Usability For All Users Has Been Improved
Many of the changes made to address the concerns of disabled users actually make the site easier to use for all users, not just those with disabilities. A standard home object might hold the key to a more inclusive digital world.
For screen reader users, links should appropriately reflect the information to which they lead. Notifying all users about what they could view if they all clicked the same link is critical. When a chart is too complicated to read, a data table or alternative language is given to aid all users in better understanding the data, making it easier to use and share the precise data and assistance in explaining data.
Internet Accessibility Regulations
To our knowledge, the ADA has not yet been revised by the US Department of Justice to add internet accessibility as a mandate. Instead, it maintains its long-held conviction that the Americans with Disabilities Act applies in this case.
However, the issue of internet access might be utilized to strengthen other legislation. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires government bodies to offer information in accessible forms to individuals with disabilities. If they are unable to make the data and information available on these platforms accessible to individuals with disabilities, they must give an alternate choice. The disabled and the non-disabled should have equal access to public areas.
The Communications Act of 1934 was revised in 2010 by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CCVA), which included additional criteria for making modern technologies accessible to individuals with impairments. Title II of the statute includes many requirements aimed at ensuring that all Americans have equal access to TVs, television services, television programs, and internet streaming media. Title I of the Act outlines the standards for supplying “advanced” telecommunications equipment and services.
In 2016, Directive (EU) 2016/2102 was issued to create accessibility rules throughout the European Union. This ensured legal consistency among all EU member states. An EU directive establishes a broad aim but leaves the exact means of implementation to the member states.
What Will Happen If You Break the Law?
Consider the case when content authors do not make their work available. If this occurs, it may have a variety of consequences, including making their material less accessible, less useful, and less pleasant for their consumers.
In the recent decade, there has been a rise in the number of lawsuits filed against corporations and organizations that have not complied with Section 508. Following the 508 examples can help government bodies avoid costly litigation and the consequences that come with them (such as unfavorable publicity and public opinion).
If you wish to satisfy Section 508 criteria, you’ll probably need to add any materials or features that aren’t currently accessible. As a result, there are more prices, more effort, and waste. This additional labor costs time and money irritates content suppliers, hinders program and project delivery, and harms the company’s reputation with its stakeholders. If you want to acquire something genuinely one-of-a-kind, you may need to solicit more bids and make more purchases. This would be more difficult and costly to do.
Users with disabilities may be forced to seek assistance elsewhere if their requirements are not satisfied on a regular basis, and users without disabilities may decide not to utilize your services as a result.
Furthermore, they may be less productive if you do not make enough accommodations for your impaired staff. As a result, it would only be able to retain such a diverse spectrum of extraordinary people. According to research, a more diverse workforce benefits a company’s overall profitability, particularly in the area of strategic planning. Furthermore, you may be unable to attract eligible persons with disabilities if your employment process necessitates inaccessible applicant interfaces, documents, forms, and so on.
As more firms grasp the benefits of recruiting individuals from diverse backgrounds and catering to diverse clients, the necessity for a consistent, consensus-based growth strategy becomes evident. If a corporation has a history of insufficiently procuring or deploying accessible digital solutions, it is not effectively supporting persons with disabilities. Businesses will be less likely to manufacture accessible products and services on a regular basis if a government body has a track record of mistakenly acquiring or offering accessible digital solutions.
Maintaining compliance with digital accessibility requirements is crucial to the success of your organization. However, it is a large task, so be prepared. You should figure out where to begin or how connected you are right now. QualityLogic can assess your current systems and processes and offer you a free consultation. They can collaborate to create a strategy that works for you. For additional information, go to www.qualitylogic.com.