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The undeniable importance of web accessibility

July 15, 2020

Before we start discussing why web accessibility is so important for your business, let’s dive into what it really is.

As a topic that we are very passionate about at Hey Nova, we have talked to a lot of people about it, and one thing we have learnt is while most people have a vague idea of what it is, very few people really understand it and why it is so important.

Luckily, web accessibility is really easy to grasp once it is laid out.

What is web accessibility?

So if you know anything about web accessibility, you probably understand that it has something to do with making websites usable for people with blindness, requiring a screen reader to assist them in navigating the website. But it doesn’t end there.

It gives access to people with a range of disabilities and impairments. For instance, it can improve use for people with mobility restrictions that limit them from using a mouse, it can be useful for people with changing abilities due to ageing, or it can help people with colorblindness. For instance, if the proper colour contrast is not used on a website, it can become unreadable to the percentage of the population with the inability to distinguish between the colours on your page.

Did you know?

For example, it makes it far easier for any person trying to view a website on smaller devices, including someone with large thumbs that struggles to press the buttons on a website. Then there are people with temporary limitations such as a broken arm, or even just someone who has lost their glasses.

There is an extensive list of people that web accessibility improves usability for, that extends far past the typical understanding of its purpose.

So, while persons living with disabilities and impairments account for 15% of the world's population, they are not the only clients you are likely losing by not building your website to meet accessibility standards.

Which moves us onto our second point.

Young girl on laptop smiling

Why is web accessibility so important?

1. It’s the right thing to do… also for your bottom line

Let’s begin with the most obvious one. It is the right thing to do. When you say that web accessibility is not important, you are saying that people with disabilities are not important. But in case that still isn’t enough to convince everyone, let’s take a different approach. When you say that web accessibility is not important, you are saying that their business is not important, and lost business is lost money.

2. Many Provinces in Canada are passing laws to make it mandatory

If your business is located in British Columbia, Canada, you might be interested to know that the government is taking steps towards making it law for all websites in the province to meet accessibility standards. And other provinces and territories, including Saskatchewan and Yukon, will likely be following suit. Meanwhile, Ontario is way ahead of the curb in technology and inclusivity, making it law in 2005 through the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

You can learn more by reading our article "Let's Talk Legal - The Cross Canada Accessibility Checkup

Written by

Bryony Anderson

British tea drinker, dog lover, whiskey enthusiastic, fiction writer hobbiest, web accessibility specialist and inclusive design advocate

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And that’s still not all. Web accessibility helps people with all sorts of barriers.

Interested to learn more about what we do at Hey Nova? Book a free consult or send us an email!

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