Last Updated on July 19, 2015.

Why should you comply with Web Accessibility Laws?

There are four primary reasons that content providers should accommodate visitors with disabilities:

  1. People with disabilities who visit your website generate revenue.
    Content providers vastly underestimate the handicapped market. Online shopping and services are very important, especially to people who often can't drive or face other difficulties shopping in a brick-and-mortar environment. Companies that fail to reach this market are losing out on a powerful source of revenue and a key demographic of loyal repeat-customers.
  2. Reach a larger audience.
    One in five Americans has a disability, and as the country ages that percentage is expected to increase. People with disabilities span ethnic, economic and geographic boundaries; failing to provide access to this diverse and numerous segment of the American population is contrary to the interests of anyone providing online content or services.
  3. It's the law.
    Failure to take reasonable steps to provide access to web content for visitors with disabilities is a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Content providers who do not comply with this law may be subject to costly lawsuits that invariably lead to the revision of the web content to meet Section 508 standards.
  4. It's not that difficult.
    Many Web content providers don't provide access for people with disabilities because they believe that the cost of updating their site to bring it "up to code" is prohibitive, or that their website's visual appeal will suffer adversely from the changes. This is simply untrue. Compared with potential revenues generated by visitors with disabilities, the cost of revamping Web content to meet Section 508 standards is insignificant and need not interfere with the site's appearance at all.