When I attended my first web accessibility training course a few years ago, there was a room full of marketing managers who were scrambling to figure out accessibility legislation and what actions they needed to take to comply. For me, the session opened my eyes to how truly difficult a place the internet can be for someone with an impairment.
I imagined how challenging a time my own mother has understanding video and audio clips, being deaf since childhood. I tried to close my eyes and navigate a page by listening to line after line of audio from a screen-reader attempting to decipher unorganized navigation and content. It was clear quite quickly that while organizations are slowly taking steps to address these issues, there is so much more than needs to be done to make the internet a level playing field.
How do we help organizations understand the importance and benefits of accessibility? The key is in understanding that making things more accessible helps everyone, not just those with an impairment. In the physical world, we see this every day. Ramps and curb-cuts were created to make transportation in a wheelchair more accessible – but yet we don’t even think about the benefits of being able to roll luggage past the stairs or push a baby stroller safely onto a sidewalk. Web accessibility works the same way.
Tyler McConville via @Forbes shares his thoughts on the importance of web accessibility and how marketers can help.