Accessibility as a competitive advantage

In a news release, Chris Mairs of BCS warns that “continuing failure to adapt both current and future IT systems to a group representing over 15 per cent of the population (UK statistic), will critically impact on all of us.”

Mairs points out that “the aging population means a significant proportion of us will eventually be classified as disabled, particularly with some degree of visual impairment. Added to which, this sector of society also represents an annual spend of £50 billion (UK statistic), a figure likely to grow annually by over ten per cent.”

In addition to this, I found an article on UsabilityNews.com about a somewhat different topic (the inacurate use of accessibility logo’s on websites), professor Helen Petrie of Designed For All states that:

“Making your website accessible has tremendous benefits to everyone, not just disabled people. … Our research shows that an accessible website can be 35% more usable for everyone – that sort of usability gain can really give companies a competitive advantage, especially those who rely on their website as a revenue channel. That’s the kind of results we try to give our clients.”

Neglecting web accessibility may cost you the trust (and thus business) of disabled customers. “A company’s accessibility statement is a reflection of its values towards disabled people”, says Petrie.