A World Health Organization research reports that approximately 15% of the world’s population experiences some form of disability. This figure reads 26% for adults in the US alone. People having any form of disability often struggle to access business websites and the services provided and therefore have a poor online browsing experience. The disability can range from hearing impairment, and visual impairment, to movement disabilities, and a non-accessible website will lead to a poor user experience for this section of the population.
- Around 13.7% have a mobility disability
- Around 10.8% have a cognitive disability
- Around 5.9% have a hearing impairment
- Around 4.6% are visually impaired
- Around 10.5% have self-care or independent living difficulties
Importance of accessibility
As we live in a digitally connected world, it becomes increasingly important for business owners to create an online presence that is accessible and inclusive. Business websites should be accessible to people with disabilities. This will not only help them comply with the rules and regulations but also increase their reach amongst people with disabilities.
As a business owner serving the public, you have to ensure that your business environment is accommodating to the disabled. Accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) extends beyond the physical environment. Your website should be equally available and accessible to people who have physical limitations that keep them from accessing your site or are sight or hearing impaired. Only then your business website is considered to be fully ADA accessible website.
Also Read: How to Make Your Website ADA/WCAG Compliant
Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) is a certification offered by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). The IAAP Certified CPACC credential is the foundation certification, representing broad, cross-disciplinary conceptual knowledge about disabilities, accessibility and universal design, and accessibility-related standards, laws, and management strategies.
There are various relevant domains for attaining the CPACC credential. Any domain in which thoughtful designing is required along with policy management that can improve disability access is a relevant domain. These include the web and other digital technologies, industrial and consumer experience design and the built-in environment and architecture of systems.
The CPACC certification requires successfully passing a computer-based exam with 100 multiple choice questions and a two-hour exam administration where additional time may be requested as an accommodation.(source)
For those who manage and support accessibility and want to create a digital presence for businesses that is accessible and inclusive, the CPACC is a must-have credential.
Why should businesses look for CPACC certified accessibility service providers?
The need to make digital experiences accessible to everyone has become one of the main tenets of every business that wants to prosper through digital mediums. There are various laws and regulations stating that business websites should be equally accessible to everyone irrespective of their disabilities. Failing to comply with these laws and regulations can lead to potential risks of legal action, not to mention the damage it would cause to your brand image.
A CPACC certified accessibility service provider will help you build an inclusive digital presence for your business. A CPACC certified service provider will not only help you comply with accessibility laws but also help you reach a wider audience and contribute to your business growth. Businesses that make conscious efforts to create an inclusive and accessible presence, gain the trust and loyalty of their users.
Business benefits of accessibility
1. Abide by rules and avoid discrimination
It is important to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy equal access to information and the associated opportunities. In the ADA legislation, web accessibility is an accepted feature across the world as a means to avoid discrimination and provide access to information to all.
With the help of a CPACC certified accessibility service provider, business owners can create an inclusive digital space to avoid discrimination lawsuits and at the same time accommodate people with disabilities.
2. Reach a wider audience
With some minor modifications, some thought to design and intelligent use of assistive technology, you can make your content inclusive and accessible to everyone irrespective of their disabilities. This can be easily achieved with the help of a CPACC certified professional.
Inclusive features such as closed captions and transcripts along with mobile-responsiveness to make navigation simple benefit everyone and not just those with disabilities. This will help users understand your business offerings better and eventually help your business grow.
3. Improves business reputation
Today, people trust businesses that abide by ethical practices. An ethical brand image drives their loyalty. Customers prefer brands that make conscious efforts towards the betterment of the society and public welfare.
By ensuring an inclusive and accessible digital presence, you lay a strong foundation for your business. This leads to a positive brand image and people find it easy to trust your business offerings.
4. SEO benefits
It is important to attain complete accessibility and inclusivity not only to increase your audience across geographies but also to ensure proper indexing by Google. A CPACC certified service provider helps your content reach higher positions in the search results. As Google delivers only the best search results to its users, search engine crawlers review and rank your website according to its usability and user experience.
5. User experience
Ultimately, accessibility is about user experience. The user experience should be focused on serving people with and without disabilities equally. By compromising on the UX and not making your website accessible, you automatically exclude a large portion of your users having some form of disability.
Talking from the SERP ranking perspective, google crawlers rank websites with good UX higher. Accessibility contributes to a good user experience and that has a direct positive correlation with the SERP ranking.
6. Future-proof your business
Many countries across the world are taking initiatives to ensure people with disabilities enjoy their right to information. New laws are being introduced and existing laws are being modified to improve accessibility. A CPACC certified service provider will help you make your digital presence accessible, and future-proof your business against lawsuits and fines.
Accessibility has many business benefits that can enhance your business and build a loyal customer base. Though creating a digital presence that is accessible and inclusive can be difficult at times, businesses can look for CPACC certified accessibility service providers to make the job easy and effective.