Editorial

Content Accessibility and Its Importance in Business

While it’s very normal for businesses to prioritise usability on their websites and social media feeds, accessibility should be an equally, if not more important part of your considerations when you are curating content for your users. There are 14.6 million people with a disability in the UK, and if your site is inaccessible to them, you are not only losing out on a huge potential customer base, but also putting access for people with a disability on the back burner and highlighting a weakness in your business ethos. The importance of content accessibility is at an all-time high as more businesses move into the online space. In this article we’ll discuss how to recognise accessibility needs, and how to improve your online presence to make it accessible for everyone.

What Constitutes an Accessibility Requirement?

It’s important to understand what constitutes an accessibility requirement in order to fully understand what people with a disability will need from a business in order to access their content. There are different types of disabilities that individuals can face, whether they are permanent, temporary or situational. A permanent disability could be deafness or blindness,whereas a temporary disability could be an injury that impacts somebody’s ability to carry out everyday tasks. An often-overlooked disability is a situational disability, which can vary from person to person according to their immediate need. For example, a carer may be carrying medical equipment in one hand and have difficulty using your website if it scrolls in two dimensions. Situations like these constitute accessibility requirements for those with disabilities.

What Increased Accessibility Can Do for Your Business

It is proven that businesses that offer greater content accessibility benefit more than those that don’t. Adding accessibility features like subtitles and auto descriptions to your website means that your business will rank higher on search engine results, due to search engine optimisation (SEO) being calculated through the source code of your website. This promotes sites that prioritise content structure and accessible functionality. These higher SEO levels will directly translate to cost-savings for your business through reduced marketing needs and a higher visitor level will drive more growth. Increasing accessibility is not just ethical – it’s a great business move, too.

How You Can Make Your Content More Accessible

There are different approaches that could work for your business when trying to ensure that your content is more accessible. Many companies take a manual approach, by testing the accessibility themselves through having a screen reader relay their content and see if it is user-friendly.  However, while this approach may work temporarily, it’s easy to forget to make necessary changes when your website is updated or to lose knowledge on content accessibility if the person in charge of ensuring accessibility moves from your organisation. For a more reliable solution that can improve accessibility to your content across the board and demonstrate your commitment to its importance, an Access Services solution from a provider like Red Bee can make the world of difference by supporting your business through expertise in the industry.Solutions packages from Red Bee can be tailored to the individual needs of your business and can include live and pre-recorded captioning, subtitling, and audio description as well as sign-language translation.

Ultimately, content accessibility plays a crucial role in the success of a business or organisation, and through the understanding of what constitutes an accessibility requirement and how to help your customers overcome this, your business can thrive in a user-friendly environment. With search engine optimisation boosting businesses that provide clear content accessibility that is built into their source code, there’s no reason to be left behind and negatively impact customers with access requirements. In 2022, the increasing importance of content accessibility proves that driving your organisation with compassion is the best way to see business growth.

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