In a previous blog post (http://www.asiweb.com/website-accessibility/) from last year, we touched on the importance of web accessibility and how it relates to Online Banking. Today, we will be discussing how an accessible website can benefit everyone, not just those who are disabled.
What Is Web Accessibility?
Let’s start with a refresher on what web accessibility entails. Web accessibility involves making websites available and user-friendly for everyone, regardless of a person’s cognitive and physical abilities. It allows for equal access and equal opportunity.
Web Accessibility Benefits the Disabled
The most obvious group of people who benefit from web accessibility are people with disabilities. Common examples of disabilities that are often talked about in relation to web accessibility include blindness or vision impairments, deafness, and color blindness (also known as color vision deficiency). By making sure your website is accessible, you ensure that those who have these disabilities have a way to get information from your site and use your site.
It is important to note that disabilities aren’t always permanent, but can also sometimes be temporary. For example, if you break your arm, you now have a temporary disability that limits your mobility.
Web Accessibility Benefits Others
While web accessibility standards were primarily created with the disabled in mind, many other groups benefit from them as well, including older generations, people who have slower internet connections, and those visiting your sites on smaller screens such as a mobile phone.
When we design with web accessibility standards in mind, websites often have a cleaner design and cleaner code, which creates a better user experience for everyone. Websites will load faster. Content will be structured in a way that makes sense. The site will be easier to navigate. And, the site may show up higher in searches due to better SEO, which leads us to the next beneficiary of web accessibility.
Web Accessibility Benefits Businesses
Businesses benefit greatly from having web accessible sites and promoting accessibility. As noted previously, just by having an accessible site with cleaner code can lead to better SEO, which will make it easier for customers to find your website. You also expand your market reach to those who are disabled. If they can’t use your website, they likely will not purchase your goods or services.
Additionally, you enhance your brand by promoting accessibility, which in turn promotes diversity and inclusion. This improves your overall brand image and reputation, and your customers and employees will likely take note. This can increase business, customer loyalty, and employee morale.
Finally, businesses reduce their chance of legal consequences. This is because web accessibility is a legal requirement in many cases per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Making sure your site is ADA compliant will lower your chance of being hit with a lawsuit over inaccessibility. To learn more about web accessibility policies, read more (https://www.w3.org/WAI/policies/).
What Can You Do?
Take steps today to make your website accessible and truly benefit everyone. To start, educate yourself on web accessibility and the standards that make your site ADA compliant (https://www.w3.org/WAI/). Talk to whoever manages your site about making sure your site is accessible. If you or your employees manage your site, don’t be overwhelmed. There are easy things you can fix to take steps towards being ADA compliant, including improving color contrast, adding transcripts audio files or closed captions to videos, adding proper alt attributes/tags to all images, and reducing the amount of text that is on the image.
We are also happy to announce that throughout 2020 at Automated Systems Inc., we will begin going through the websites we host and making sure they are compliant with accessibility standards.
About Automated Systems, Inc.
Since 1981, Automated Systems, Inc. has been a leader in providing innovative core banking, digital banking, and data processing solutions to community banks nationwide. An array of integrated applications provide partnered banks with tailored, cost-effective, competitive choices. ASI delivers industry-leading technology backed by unparalleled in-house conversion, training and support teams; paving the way for progressive, top-notch customer service. ASI corporate headquarters are located at 1201 Libra Drive, Lincoln, NE 68512, 1.800.279.7312. For more information about banking solutions from ASI, visit www.asiweb.com .
About Insite Data Services
IDS data application hosting services combines secure and cost-effective core banking applications, enterprise-class servers and storage, and proven virtualization technology. IDS hosts all of the bank’s servers in secure data centers that use state of the art security systems including identity verification and biometric scanning. Insite Data Services also offers IDS On-Time, a full-service solution dedicated to back-office bank processing. These operations experts allow partnered banks to focus on their most important asset, their customers. For more information visit www.insitedataservices.com.