The internet has changed the way we live, learn and communicate. It’s a place where you can find about anything you could want to know. But there’s one thing most people struggle with when using the internet: accessibility. This is where accessibility consulting services enter the scene.
While some websites or digital products are designed with an inclusive mindset from the start, many need to have this intention in mind or are unaware that this should have been taken into consideration in the first place.
This can lead to frustration for users who need special accommodations or adaptations to participate in your product or website’s experience fully.
Table of Contents:
- Four Benefits of Accessibility Consulting Services
1. Design and Build Digital Products
2. Functional Testing of Your Product or Website
3. Training of Staffs
4. Help in Developing Products Complying with Law & Reduce Legal Risk
- Summing It Up
As of 2022, only 3% of the internet is accessible to people with some form of disability. This is where Digital Accessibility Consulting Services come in.
For the uninitiated, accessibility is a notion that determines if people with disabilities such as visual impairments, auditory impairments, or even people with cognitive impairments can access and fully experience a digital product or service.
Several Web Accessibility Standards and regulations are followed around the globe. Some of the more prominent ones are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), a global web accessibility standard established by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
The US follows the Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, while Europe has the European Accessibility Act (EAA).
Four Benefits of Accessibility Consulting Services
If you’re a business owner, a website owner, or a content creator, there’s no better time to invest in accessibility consulting services. Here are the four primary benefits of Accessibility Consulting Services.
1. Digital accessibility consulting services help you design and build digital products and content that are accessible to everyone.
Accessibility for everyone is essential. It’s a basic human right to access information, services, and products in their preferred format without barriers.
Accessibility consulting services can help you design and build software, websites, other digital products, and content accessible by everyone.
There are several secondary benefits to this:
- Making accessibility a priority demonstrates Social Responsibility and Inclusiveness: There has been a massive shift in consumer behavior in recent years. Consumers today prefer brands that demonstrate socially responsible behavior and values.
- You increase your potential customer base: According to the World Health Organization, over 16% of the world’s population has some form of disability. That’s over a billion people or a billion prospective customers that you are missing out on.
- It could give you a competitive edge: If you consider the above points, you could gain an edge over your competition.
2. Accessibility consultants can also provide functional testing of your product or website.
Accessibility consultants are well-trained and well-versed in every single aspect that must be checked to ensure your digital product is accessible.
They perform a combination of manual, automated, and functional tests to thoroughly evaluate the accessibility of your product and fix any issues that need to be addressed.
The standards prescribed by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) include relatively simple accessibility solutions such as using text alternatives for images, text transcripts, or captions for audio/visual content, ensuring that the text is readable or that the digital product operates predictably, to name a few.
While you may think that this is something you can DIY, it’s best to leave a task like this to professionals who have first-hand knowledge of the intricacies of dealing with disabilities.
3. Consultants can train your staff on accessibility issues and how to prevent them.
Accessibility should be a key part of the development process of any digital product, and you must get your team trained on accessibility issues.
Experienced consultants trained and certified by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals can work with your team to determine what needs to be done. They will then train them on using tools like web content management systems and assistive technology.
You can also use this time as an opportunity for them to learn about accessible design since many of these products are now built with accessibility in mind.
This will help ensure that your products are built with an eye toward usability by users who have disabilities or other special needs—and it makes sure no one misses out on using those great features!
4. Accessibility experts can help you develop products that comply with the law and reduce legal risk.
Accessibility is a legal requirement for any digital product. It’s also good for business and, more importantly, helps people with disabilities access your site and apps.
It can also help you avoid legal issues concerning accessibility standards such as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act or WCAG 2.0 Level AA requirements set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
A law in the EU now requires that all digital products be accessible to people with disabilities. This law came into effect on September 23, 2020.
Thousands of civil lawsuits over disability issues are filed every year. Accessibility Consulting Services can help you avoid such litigations altogether, saving you thousands of dollars and avoiding negative publicity.
Summing It Up
If you’re interested in accessibility, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to make your products and services more accessible.
Though you can attempt to do it yourself, a reputed Accessibility Consulting service will give you the best advice on what needs to be done.
Ensuring web accessibility for all should not be neglected just because it may not be in major profits; it is simply the humane thing to do to ensure every person on this planet can have access to information regardless of any disability.
If you are looking for highly competent Accessibility Consulting Services, look no further than Hurix. Our team is comprised of highly committed IAAP-certified professionals that are at the top of their game.
We use a combination of tools to analyze and test the Web Accessibility of your digital product against the WCAG 2.0/2.1 standards to ensure that all of them meet the requirements of Section 508 and ADA Accessibility. Our team prepares thorough WCAG Audit reports and certifies them as well.
Related Article – The Importance Of Accessibility Consulting