Why Accessibility Really Matters

October 24, 2017

Accessibility is a wide topic that covers many areas, but what often first comes to mind for many people is physical access. The truth is that 39 million people worldwide are blind, and 246 million have low vision.  In a digital world, hiring and retaining talent, avoiding lawsuits, and the importance of the role accessibility plays during natural disasters are just a few of the many reasons why digital accessibility really matters.Accessibility is a wide topic that covers many areas, but what often first comes to mind for many people is physical access. The truth is that 39 million people worldwide are blind, and 246 million have low vision.  In a digital world, hiring and retaining talent, avoiding lawsuits, and the importance of the role accessibility plays during natural disasters are just a few of the many reasons why digital accessibility really matters.

We recently came across a story in Forbes titled, One Inspiring Software Developer and Why Accessibility Matters. The story described an incredibly talented blind computer programmer and his need for accessible tools. Without his screen reader, it would be very difficult or nearly impossible for blind software developers to code and follow their programming career path.
Natural disasters are another example of why it’s important for organizations to pay attention to accessibility. Everyone needs to have access to response plans, current information and tools to keep them safe.

[The Bureau of Internet Accessibility wrote in a recent post, Navigating Web Accessibility During Natural Disasters, “When such disasters occur, it is imperative that everyone has equal access to the same online tools designed to inform the public and offer routes to safety. Unfortunately, many apps and website don’t maintain such equality across users, leaving those with a disability in a potentially perilous state.”]

Lastly, organizations that are not following accessibility standards are facing lawsuits and backlash from the community. Harvard and M.I.T was just one of the more public lawsuits who’s story was captured by major publications including The New York Times. They faced a major lawsuit for inaccessible online courses and content. There are a million reasons why digital accessibility really matters and why more organizations need to be proactive in not only complying with regulations, but also considering this huge percentage of the population in business decisions and reaching new potential customers. Creating a world where everyone is included despite any disabilities.

*Accessibil-IT specializes in helping organizations develop document accessibility strategies. We work collaboratively, cost effectively, and in a timely manner to make sure your pdf documents are accessible. Contact us to learn how we can help you.