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Learn how to make your digital platforms accessible for people of all abilities.

7 Industries Impacted By Website Accessibility Compliance

Businesses across every industry are finding out the hard way they’re not exempt when it comes to meeting the minimum requirements of accessibility outlined by WCAG. Initially, this is likely a very frustrating reality for most businesses because this means they’ll need to invest time, money and resources to meet these requirements. Unfortunately, most business owners and many of their team members don't know what accessibility is and how it pertains to their industry. In this article we’ll highlight the need for accessibility within different industries, the direct impact it has on those industries and why implementing best practices is critical to the long-term growth of every business.

The E-commerce Industry Is Growing And So Is The Number of People Shopping Online

Businesses within the e-commerce and online retail industry stand to benefit significantly as more and more of them build and maintain accessible websites and mobile applications. According to a 2019 study by Nucleus Research, U.S. e-commerce retailers may be losing up to $6.9 billion annually to their competitors with more accessible websites.

As an online retailer, you may not be aware of how many potential customers leave your site due to accessibility challenges. Your customers with disabilities might encounter numerous issues from not being able to see the details of a product due to low vision or identify a product because your images are missing alt text. And just as you would remove any physical barriers blocking access to your place of business, it’s equally important to remove digital barriers that can prevent people with access needs from using your website or mobile app.

If you're an online retail business, becoming accessible will give you peace of mind because it will reduce your legal liability. Furthermore, it will improve the overall user experience and statistically support an increase in the conversion of website and mobile traffic into more sales and loyal customers. Becoming more accessible is not only the right thing for your business from a legal standpoint, it's clearly a very good business decision if you want steady, long-term growth.

When It Comes To The Education Industry, Remote Learning Requires Greater Accessibility

Thanks in large part to the global pandemic, remote learning has become the new norm for many students. The immediate rise in the usage of websites, mobile applications and software has exposed the need to improve how accessible many of these digital platforms are today. And because remote learning is not going away anytime soon, educational institutions at every grade level are now faced with the challenge of making sure the digital tools they use to educate their students, communicate with parents and peers must be accessible.

Many educational institutions were likely unprepared for how quickly things were going to change in 2020. And even if these institutions had solutions in place to meet the needs of their students with disabilities in-person, it’s likely that many didn’t have adequate accessible solutions to do so remotely.

Updating and maintaining your websites, documents and mobile applications to be accessible for your students, parents and staff is critical because it will support your ability to deliver the best educational experience to your community. Becoming ADA compliant is about inclusion and equal opportunity. Even though the pandemic sped up the already growing demand for user-friendly digital tools to enhance the remote learning experience, this was already a growing need that couldn’t be ignored. With the dramatic increase in the demand for better remote learning digital tools, the time is now to implement accessibility as changes are made to meet this demand.

Dear Financial Industry, People With Disabilities Like To Use Online Banking Services Too

The growing prevalence of managing our finances online means financial institutions need their technology to meet accessibility compliance standards. The convenience of being able to deposit a check, submit a loan application or purchase life insurance are just a few of the many conveniences now offered online by financial institutions throughout the world. It should be just as easy to do for people with disabilities as it is for those without disabilities to access and enjoy these new technological conveniences.

As financial institutions strive to integrate new technology to improve the use and delivery of various offerings to consumers, it's critical new websites, mobile applications and other tools are designed and built with accessibility in mind. This is critical because there’s a growing population of people living with disability. This means there’s going to be an increase in the number of people who will rely on emerging technologies to be accessible to them. And with stiff competition throughout this industry, it’s clear that the financial institutions who make accessibility their standard are going to establish themselves as the leaders within their industry.

For The Healthcare Industry, Accessibility Is Just One More Challenge To Overcome

The need for digital platforms to be accessible within the healthcare industry is important because the consequences of not being accessible are so high for all parties relying on and providing these healthcare services. Just like working remotely and learning remotely is becoming more of the norm, so too is remote healthcare. If, however, the increase in the demand is not combined with accessibility, a lot of people are going to struggle to have their healthcare needs met.

Dealing with health issues is already a big enough challenge for patients with disabilities. Adding accessibility challenges like checking in at a kiosk, applying for health insurance online or finding a healthcare provider, adds unnecessary stress to patients with disabilities. Furthermore, the heavy demand of time and energy it takes to effectively manage a healthcare service. This is an industry that cannot afford to wait to seek out and implement solutions that will help them adequately meet this demand.

Hey Hospitality Industry, People With Disabilities Love To Travel

For people with disabilities, traveling is a great opportunity to feel connected with the world and, oftentimes, it reminds them that there's more to life than just dealing with the daily challenges presented by their disability. Businesses within the hospitality and travel industry play a big role in creating this experience. And depending on the level of accessibility of their websites, mobile applications and other digital assets, traveling can turn out to be a very frustrating experience for people with disabilities.

As convenient as new technologies and the web have made it possible to plan and book excursions throughout the world, a person with a disability will struggle to book a plane ticket, print a boarding pass or make a hotel reservation if those websites or mobile applications aren't accessible. There’s a great opportunity for this industry to improve when it comes to accessibility. And because creating long-lasting positive experiences is at the heart of every business within this industry, prioritizing accessibility just makes sense. For those businesses who make this commitment, they’ll be rewarded with more loyal customers who will consistently turn to you to meet their travel needs.

For The Public Sector, Accessibility Cannot Be Ignored

Accessibility within the public sector applies to both employees with disabilities as well as citizens with disabilities. There's a heavy reliance by both employees and citizens on the websites, mobile applications, software and hardware tied to the organizations within this industry. For many organizations within the public sector, it's a challenge to keep up with the demand of updating outdated websites and mobile applications.

According to the World Health Organization, the number of people living with disability is increasing, in part due to ageing populations and an increase in chronic health conditions. The public sector plays a vital role in helping the needs of this growing population be met throughout society. It's important that businesses and organizations within and connected to the public sector work towards accessibility today. Doing so will support an increase of more citizens experiencing a higher quality of life.

The Technology Industry Can Help Make Website Accessibility A Standard Sooner Rather Than Later

When websites, applications, technologies, and tools are designed without accessibility in mind, they can create barriers that exclude people with disabilities from using them. Website and software design and development is better when accessibility standards and best practices are included throughout the process. For many web and software designers and developers, accessibility hasn't been at the top of your list when it comes to the process for building software and websites. This can change as the awareness of accessibility and the need to implement best practices continues to increase across all industries.

The Next Evolution In Business Is Website Accessibility

With so many aspects of life being conducted online through computers and mobile devices, industry leaders can have a significant impact on society as website accessibility is made a standard for businesses. The world is being shaped by technology and how businesses utilize it to conduct and grow their businesses. As accessibility is implemented by more and more companies, the more the web and today's emerging technologies will benefit all parties, from businesses to individuals with disabilities and, society as a whole.

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