There are three primary reasons why website accessibility matters.
This needs little introduction; if you aren’t giving certain people the option to access your website or buy your products, they are (inadvertently) being excluded. For the individual, this is a negative experience, and it can also reflect poorly on your brand.
2) Restricting access to potential customers
If your content isn’t accessible, those users cannot interact with you or buy from you. In short, this makes your audience pool smaller and also impacts potential revenue streams. With a less transactional hat on, you’re also missing out on rich insights that could help to shape business decisions.
Australia’s Discrimination Act of 1992 requires equal access for people with disabilities. While website accessibility regulations are less prescriptive and heavily enforced in Australia than say the USA, there are still things that you need to bear in mind. If you serve an overseas market, you need to be mindful of their laws too, and it can land you in a real pickle if you don’t.
Two notable examples of where the Act has been enforced are:
- Coles being fined in 2014 for an update that meant that a visually impaired customer could no longer place an online order.
- The Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games lost a case that challenged them over details that were not accessible to the visually impaired.