20% to 50% of the population experience problems using online services. Excluding such a large target group is undesirable. A website that is not digitally accessible can damage your image because a large group of users have an unpleasant experience with your website. In addition to being a corporate social responsibility issue, it can also affect your company's bottom line (even if you don't sell directly) by excluding this large target group.
1 in 8 Dutch people have a physical, intellectual, sensory or mental disability. This makes it far from always easy for everyone to use a website or web application. We are talking about 20 to 50% of the population that cannot (completely) use a website or web application. Excluding such a large target group is obviously not desirable and does not enable you as an organization to be socially responsible. In the long run, this could cause damage to your image or negatively affect your business results.
An accessible website or web application ensures that everyone has a good user experience. This sounds simple, but there are many target groups to consider. Consider:
- People with vision problems (colorblind, visually impaired, blind)
- Deaf people
- People with cognitive problems (ADHD, anxiety disorder)
- People with low literacy (children, migrants, low education)
- People with mobility problems (Parkinson’s disease, broken arm)
Legislation & WCAG Guidelines
Legislators at all levels consider accessibility important and there are several legal obligations that you, as a business owner, must comply with. Which obligations these are, depends on the sector and country you are operating in. In the Netherlands, the Digital Accessibility Decree states that as of September 23, 2020, all government websites must be accessible. From September 23, 2021, this also applies to all mobile applications.
In Europe, there is the European Accessibility Act, which sets similar obligations for government and other sectors (such as e-commerce). If an organization or company does not comply with this, there can be consequences for your business (such as a lawsuit/branding damage).
Most legislation uses WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) as a guideline. Currently, WCAG 2.1 level AA is required as a minimum. Soon this requirement will be tightened to version 2.2, level AA.
Common problems with websites
The majority of developers and designers lack accessibility knowledge. Due to the lack of knowledge, the website is not developed or tested accessible. Website accessibility is therefore not integrated throughout the development process, which can cause the following common problems:
- Contrast problems
- Poor semantic markup
- Lack of text for screen readers (alt text, form labels, empty links, empty buttons etc.)
- No zoom capabilities
- No provision for keyboard users.
Your website or web application accessible for everyone
At Ibuildings, digital accessibility is an integrated part of our development process. We strive for digital accessibility for all and therefore ensure that our websites and our apps are digitally accessible. You can contact us for, among other things:
- An accessibility audit (WCAG audit)
- Custom advice to developers & designers
- Building an accessible website
- Making an existing website accessible
- Accessibility workshop for developers
Every project is different so we provide a tailored approach for your website or app.