[thelist] Top 10 reasons to make your page accessible...

Randal Rust randalrust at gmail.com
Tue Jan 23 07:01:55 CST 2007

On 1/23/07, Austin Harris <austin at dotmail.co.uk> wrote:

> "Why should we pay for it when it makes no (obvious) difference?"

Austin, that is the primary reason that I never talk about optimizing
websites in terms of accessibility. It's something that I even brought
up with the WAI interest group [1]. I suggested that WCAG 2.0 be
divided clearly between measurable and non-measurable guidelines so
that websites could, in fact, be /scored/ for accessibility. A lot of
people thought it was a good idea, but in the end, the idea was shot

IMHO, it would have made accessibility a much easier /sell/ to the
business sector. It would be more along the lines of markup and css
validation. In other words, something quantifiable that
business-minded people can understand.

I have worked on several large public-sector web applications and the
first things that always get cut when the budget gets tight or
deadlines loom are accessibility compliance and testing. Always.

The bottom line is that you can't really convince people that making
their website accessible to assistive technology is going to make them
more money. But you can take a different approach and talk about how
optimizing the website to work on /alternative devices/, such as
cellphones, is an opportunity to reach a market that is rapidly

You need to appeal to the business side of things. If the site can
reach more people with more disposable income in more ways you can,
theoretically, make more money.

Make it a discussion about efficiently reaching more people with
information about the company's services and providing more channels
to sell products.

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ig/2004JulSep/0392.html

Randal Rust
R.Squared Communications

More information about the thelist mailing list