Accessibility is a subject close to our hearts and we think we can’t shout enough about this so often ignored topic. So last Thursday, on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we concentrated all our forces on raising awareness for this important subject.
Find out why we believe it’s important, what we did and why we think businesses are missing out on a huge opportunity.
Why does accessibility matter?
There are many misconceptions about accessibility like ‘Accessibility kills creativity’ or that it’s only affecting a minority of people. However that’s not true at all. You might be surprised how big the impact of web accessibility really is.
To understand the scope of it here are some stats to demonstrate the magnitude of it.
In the UK, 1 in 5 people have a disability. This could be visual, hearing, motor or cognitive. There are 2.7m colour blind people in the UK and around 10m people affected by hearing loss.
With a growing ageing population the number of people with disabilities or age-related internet access difficulties will increase.
However, accessibility doesn’t only apply to people with disabilities. All users have different needs and we all can have difficulties browsing the internet from time to time. Be it trying to navigate through a website, understanding jargon, filling in a complicated form or sitting with your laptop in the sun with slow wifi and so on. The list goes on.
Making your website accessible and simple to use for everyone will benefit all of us.
Why should you care as a business?
Unfortunately still many businesses undervalue the power of accessibility. However there are vast reasons for businesses to make their services and website accessible for all customers.
First of all, it’s a known fact that today’s consumers prefer socially responsible brands. Being fully accessible will help prove that the business cares and therefore also attract new potential customers.
Additionally, by ignoring accessibility issues you’re missing out on huge financial opportunities. Why’s that?
Did you know that around 71% of disabled customers with access needs will click away from a website that they find difficult to use? Those customers have an estimated spending power of £11.75 billion in the UK alone. That’s around 10% of the total UK online spend in 2016.
Around 82% of customers with access needs would spend more money if websites were more accessible.
Besides, with a growing ageing population older web users can be a beneficial and increasing market segment, too. The numbers are only going to grow. And so does the spending power of the ‘Grey Pound.’ So if you don’t want to miss out on an increasing spending power of up to £127 billion you should start thinking about your future audience now.
These stats alone begin to put an entirely new spin on the subject of accessibility. Apart from ignoring your moral responsibility you’re also clearly missing out on greater profits.
Long story short, accessibility can help your business:
- Extend its market reach and increase your customer base
- Increase your revenue
- Stay ahead of the competition in a constantly changing market
Help your business champion accessibility now. Only a few simple steps can already make a huge difference for your business.
To find out how visit our accessibility hub here.
What did we do to promote awareness?
To highlight the issues of accessibility we did the following activities
1. Turning red-badger.com greyscale
To raise awareness and importance of accessibility we switched red-badger.com to greyscale. Why? We wanted people to experience what it's like to have Achromatopsia and why it's so important to have an accessible website.
Here’s a quick preview.
By using different chrome extensions (e.g: Greyscale Black & White - High Contrast Theme) you can check the accessibility of your site. Take a look for yourself at the difference it makes.
2. Getting the team involved
As always, the team did a great job in driving awareness being fully committed in helping making the internet a more inclusive place to be. So in line with the theme #GreyScaleForADay we all dressed up in black and white, had black and white snacks and even the dogs got involved.
It helped us to talk about accessibility on-site with our clients who we hope to get involved more next year.
3. Created a marketing message to get people involved
Our CMO Andrea put a call out to all marketing people to help drive awareness of accessibility issues. We’re very happy to see people already getting in touch with us.
Here are a few:
We’ve recorded a webinar recently highlighting the importance of accessibility for businesses. In the video we’re sharing some valuable insights and tips on how to benefit from a more inclusive website.
Find out now how to increase your business reach with web accessibility. You can sign up for the webinar here.
But it's not only for one day, read our blogs about what we’re doing to be more inclusive every day.