The moral case for accessibility is undeniable. Businesses know this and are quick to promote the initiatives they have taken part in to address it.
But if we know it is morally right, why is accessibility not yet an integral part of software development?
In part, it is because our approach to accessibility is often misguided. As Open Inclusion’s website says, “Don’t do it just because it’s on a list. Ask real users with real needs what they think. Do it because it is better.”
For example, businesses in all sectors know that user experience (UX) is a big market differentiator.
As Amazon Web Services reported in their Comprehensive Guide to the ROI of UX, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. That same report said “good user experience is the difference between category winners and losers.”
Yet few businesses draw the link between user experience and accessibility. Far from accessibility being seen as a way to become a ‘category winner’, it is often seen as a drain on resources for little recognisable benefit.
The level of understanding around accessibility in software is so low, many are unsure what ‘accessibility’ actually means.
So in this blog post, we are going to explore what we mean by accessible software solutions, and outline why they are not just morally right, they're also better, both functionally and commercially.