If you have a client that hosts a website or blog using WordPress, you should really encourage them to be stepping up to make their website accessible to people who have a variety of conditions.
The Web is used now more than ever to access data, education, employment, healthcare, commerce, and a plethora of other roles that have to be easily and readily accessible to people with disabilities. It’s important to note why clients should take accessibility to heart.
It Benefits Everyone
It’s up to you to make a better web for everyone. Focusing on accessibility not only benefits the disabled, it also benefits older users and mobile device users.
If you think about it, everyone is disabled at some point in their life. Having a broken arm or hand could present a challenge to someone trying to use a keyboard. Encourage your clients to design better websites to help those who have permanent and temporary disabilities. Websites have to be flexible and accommodate a variety of needs. Sometimes this can pose a challenge to clients, but they should always consider accessibility a priority when making their website.
It’s the Law
Legal matters are very important for organizations and your client. However, accessibility issues should mean much more to your clients than simply complying with the law. It reflects their integrity and shows that they care about the user.
Pabini Gabriel-Petit has been working in User Experience for over 20 years for companies like Apple, Cisco, Google, and WebEx and speaks on accessibility:
Treating accessibility merely as a legal-compliance issue shows a total lack of commitment to user-centered design. … Improving accessibility benefits all users by providing greater ease of use to everyone.
Approximately 20% of all People Worldwide Have Some Sort of Disability
According to a 2005 and 2010 report from the United States Census Bureau, approximately 20% percent of the total population had some sort of disability. If clients don’t design with accessibility in mind, users are going to be missing out on the information they have to offer. 20% is a large demographic to be missing out on and it makes no sense to exclude them. Your client could be missing out on valuable web traffic that’s directly impairing the growth of their website.
It’s the Way Forward
As designer, developers, and users we have a duty to help those who need web accessibility. Not only does it help the disabled socialize and interact with society in ways we never thought possible, it lets the world know that your client cares, and their users will be more appreciative.
As WordPress users, we can make a better WordPress for everyone. If you need some research, training, or consulting to get started, visit the Nielsen Norman Group’s page and the article “Getting Started with Web Accessibility” on W3.org. Don’t hesitate, and help contribute today by convincing clients to keep accessibility in mind.