6 Reasons Why Making Your Website Accessible Is The Right Thing To Do
The whole point of having a company website is to showcase your products and services to as broad an audience as possible.
So why not make your website accessible and inclusive to as many people as you can? After all, the internet is a daily fixture in most people’s lives. So much so, that recent studies show the average person in Australia spends around 6 hours and 13 minutes online every day. That’s close to 40% of our waking hours spent on the internet!
Virtually everything we do requires us to spend time online, whether it’s banking, paying bills, shopping, reading the news, or booking a holiday. So it is essential that websites are not just accessible, but usable by all. Everyone should have the opportunity to access online content, yet over one billion people globally face barriers when visiting inaccessible websites.
“The one argument for accessibility that doesn’t get made nearly often enough is how extraordinarily better it makes some people’s lives. How many opportunities do we have to dramatically improve people’s lives just by doing our job a little better?”
Steve Krug, Website User Experience Expert
Recite Me assistive technology provides your customers with the online tools they need to understand and engage with your products and services. It also allows you to support people who are neurodiverse, visually impaired, speak English as a second language, or are of old age.
Using our software isn’t just the smart thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. Here’s why…
Over 575,000 People in Australia are Blind or Visually Impaired
The term ‘visual impairment’ covers various issues, including partial blindness, deafblindness, and colour blindness. For those who struggle with these conditions, accessing information online is difficult. The text size and font used, the layout, and the colour contrasts between the text and the background can all create barriers to reading.
Up to 15% of the Australian Population has a Learning Difficulty
The most common learning disability in Australia is Dyslexia. It affects at least 10% of the population and impacts many levels of comprehension, including reading, writing, and spelling. ADHD is the second most common learning disability. ADHD is a hyperactivity and attention disorder, and those who have it will typically have problems focusing and can be easily distracted. Other prominent learning difficulties include Hyperlexia and Dyspraxia. Hyperlexics can read words but not necessarily understand their meaning, while Dyspraxics often have language problems and experience a certain degree of difficulty with thought and perception.
21% of Australians Speak a Language Other Than English at Home
While many of us may speak a second language, most of us would default to our mother tongue to research and communicate online. Even something seemingly simple like finding contact details to email a company or call a customer service or sales helpline can be challenging when you have to navigate a website in a second language. Not to mention more complex tasks like researching financial options, shopping online, using booking sites, or filling in online forms and applications.
One in Six People in Australia has a Disability
Disabilities come in many forms. The stereotype of a disabled person is typically someone who is physically impaired or wheelchair-bound, and most companies tend not to think of this affecting online access. In reality, however, the term covers a whole range of mobility and cognitive issues. For example, someone with a physical mobility problem in their upper body may be a keyboard-only user. In contrast, someone with epilepsy may not be able to access sites with media or graphics that could cause a seizure.
3.8 Million Australian Residents Are Aged 65 and Over
The internet is an essential tool in assisting older people in leading independent lives. As the ageing population increases, so does the percentage of the entire population with disabilities and visual impairments. More accessible websites are required to reach this part of the community so that the elderly do not become excluded online or miss out on valuable information and services.
1 in 7 Australians are Affected by Hearing Loss
That means one in every seven consumers are predominantly reliant on the internet rather than a face to face or telephone conversation to access the information, products, services, and assistance they need. Couple this with the fact that many who suffer from hearing loss are also older, disabled, speak English as a second language, or have a learning difficulty. This makes the need for more accessible websites even clearer.
How Does Recite Me Assistive Technology Cater to All Accessibility Needs?
Recite Me assistive technology gives users the ability to fully customise the look of a website for personal ease of use. Our toolbar comprises several accessibility features that can be used individually or combined to make multiple adjustments that account for all access barriers:
- Personalisation of font size, type, spacing, and colour.
- Options to change the colour contrast between text and background.
- A screen mask to provide colour tinting and block visual clutter.
- A “text-only” mode that strips away any media or graphics and allows users to reposition text on the screen.
- Additional reading aids such as an on-screen ruler.
- A language converter that can translate text into over 100 different on-screen languages.
- Options to download content as an audio file.
- Text can be read aloud at different speeds with either a male or a female voice.
- Text-to-speech functions in 35 languages.
- A built-in dictionary and thesaurus to check word definitions.
What Have You Got to Lose?
A whole lot! Let's count the ways that your organisation is limited without an accessible website:
- The ability to reach a wider audience - 71% of users leave a site that they find hard to use, and 83% of people with access needs limit their shopping to websites that they know are accessible.
- Increased traffic and sales conversions - 86% of users with access needs would spend more if there were fewer barriers. The online spending power of people with access needs in Australia is over AUD54 million.
- An enhanced brand image and reputation – stand out from your competition by demonstrating social responsibility through being inclusive.
- Fewer legal implications - it is expected by law that businesses and service providers do not treat disabled people less favourably.
So really, the question is why wouldn’t you want to make your website accessible and inclusive,
rather than why you would.
Want to Know More?
To date, we have installed our software on over 3000 websites across various industry sectors, so we have the knowledge and experience needed to guide you through the process and make your transition towards inclusion a seamless one.
Contact our team today for further information and learn more about providing an inclusive and custom experience for your website users. You can also book a live demonstration of our toolbar.