12 Sep Why Publishers Should Care About Accessibility
Roughly twenty percent of people in the United States have some type of disability. Many of these disabilities prevent people from properly interacting with digital content. While creating fully accessible material for impaired readers takes some effort, a commitment to the accessibility agenda is a sound business decision in today’s evolving publishing landscape.
As a publisher, accessible content allows you to:
- Reach a broader audience and grow the size of your market
- Meet your legal obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Enhance your corporate social responsibility profile
- Increase people’s engagement with your materials
- Differentiate yourself in the marketplace and improve your competitive edge
Many publishers have delayed incorporating changes to improve the accessibility of their content because they don’t believe they have enough–or any—readers with disabilities. Some assume updates would be time-consuming and expensive. Others worry that accessibility would negatively affect the look and feel of their content for mainstream users. These concerns tend to arise before publishers truly understand what accessibility updates actually entail and how they most often create a better user experience for all. For example, captions support deaf readers but also help people accessing content in a place where sound is restricted. By producing content that follows accessible design principles, publishers not only avoid potential litigation, but ultimately benefit society as a whole.
Everyone deserves access to the same information. If you are a publisher committed to producing accessible content, consider getting the message out in the following ways:
- Advertise your dedication to the goal in your company blog, newsletter, or website.
- Educate your employees on what accessible materials look like and why they are critical.
- Create an accessibility team or leader to direct your company’s effort, influence and oversee operations, and create or revise policies.
Emergent Learning can help you begin your journey toward greater accessibility. Let us evaluate a sample of your content and partner with you to update your materials. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.