Organizations that practice accessibility generally experience four critical benefits:
- Mitigation of lawsuits
- Expanded customer base
- Ability to hire from a larger, more diverse talent pool
- Doing the right thing builds trust and brand loyalty
Mitigation of Lawsuits
The lawsuits that require organizations to be accessible to individuals with disabilities generally reference either Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act, both of which require accessibility and are meant to prevent discrimination of individuals with disabilities. According to data provided by Sayfarth Shaw, since 2015, the number of accessibility lawsuits has increased by almost 10-fold, with almost half of those relating to organizations in retails and online sales. As part of the NFB v. Target settlement from 2008, the W3C reports that Target Corp. was ordered to pay almost 10 million dollars between damages and attorney fees. In short, with the technical standards for accessibility able to easily be met and receiving greater attention than ever (i.e., WCAG 2.0 A and AA), being proactive in WCAG 2.0 A and AA conformance is the easiest way to become conformant with the U.S. ADA and Section 508.
Expanded Customer Base
According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 4 Americans has a disability. In the digital-interaction space, those disabilities can encompass a wide variety of impairments, including an inability to see the web content, an inability to hear alerts or audio in online media, and an inability to use a point-and-click interface. Any one of those hindrances can limit—or even fully prevent—a user from buying an organization’s product or services. Thus, if your organization has a goal of increasing revenue or increasing your customer base, let them know you have an idea for how they can reach up to 20% more possible customers than they are today just be adhering to the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.
Organizations generally want to hire the very best person for a given role. The most qualified person might have a disability, but he or she might not even be able to apply for the role because of an inaccessible application process. That means the organization is actually losing out on being able to hire the best candidate for the role. And, not having a diverse staff that includes individuals with disabilities can actually cost an organization business—especially if they serve the federal government. Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act actually mandates that organizations target a 7% utilization goal for individuals with disabilities. An organization’s ability to conform with that mandate could be a deciding factor in the RFP process.
It's Simply the Right Thing to Do
The business benefits of integrity have many variables, not the least of which includes an improved reputation and heightened public trust.
Let AFB Consulting help you to not only conform with applicable laws, but also reach the broadest customer base possible and employ from the largest talent pool possible by being inclusive of individuals with disabilities in both your digital and physical spaces.