Billions of people enjoy internet access on a daily basis and many simply take for granted the ability to access it. With a simple touch of a fingertip or a short voice command, most individuals have access to what essentially amounts to a limitless supply of information, products and services from all over the world. It's quite obvious with the phenomenal growth of technologies such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence, etc., that not only is the internet here to stay, it clearly is going to increasingly become a key factor in everyone's daily lifestyle.
It Could Happen to Anyone
Imagine for a moment, if through some type of accident or illness, a person becomes unable to interact with such an essential part of daily life as the internet. Along with those born with some type of disability, this is what some individuals face on a daily basis.
In some cases, growing voice technologies such as "Hey Siri" or "Ok Google" may be able to vastly improve the quality of life for those dealing with a disability. Still, there is more that companies can (and must) do if they want their web presence to be compliant with laws such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act or AODA.
Reaching out to More Audiences
Companies spend billions trying to reach new audiences in order to market their products and/or services. Countless studies are conducted to learn more about demographics, niche groups, and more. In fact, it can be said that anyone with a web presence, in some way has something to sell. Companies who overlook the fact that disabled individuals also need products, services and information, are only doing themselves a disservice by missing out on a key market.
What to Do
Ensuring a company's web presence is within reach of the disabled may mean the use of different methods other than SEO, etc., but in comparison to reaching out to any other target group, it doesn't necessarily take an extraordinarily amount of additional resources to make a website disabled-ready. When companies search for web designers to create and/or maintain their web presence, they simply need to ensure that their choice of designer is aware that their company has 50 or more employees. They then will price and build the site in such as way as to comply with laws such as the AODA.
Many companies are already aware of compliance laws with regards to people with disabilities and they already know there are different requirements for different-sized companies. Specifically, those companies with 50 or more employees must make all websites and web content accessible to the disabled by January 1, 2021.
If you would like to know more about AODA and how to ensure your web presence is in compliance, please contact us.