Running a company can be a difficult task, no matter what industry you’re in. There are many things to take into consideration when building your company from the ground up, and this will only become more difficult once you’ve been given the responsibility of hiring employees or opening up a new branch of your business. However, there are ways to make your website more accessible to people with disabilities by using available tools on the web, such as accessiBe.
1) Be proactive – The lawsuits are just starting to come in because of changes made by the Department Of Justice regulations which went into effect March 15th, 2012. Don’t get caught off guard, and never assume that the changes made to your website will be enough. Have a plan in place so you can update your site quickly should you find that there are areas for improvement.
2) Determine what measures need to be taken – The next step after assessing whether or not your company is ADA compliant is determining which changes need to be made to improve your site. You can get the assistance of someone familiar with disabilities, but you want to make sure they’re not part of the problem (ie; Not using flash elements).
3) Get some help – If you don’t have the skills or staff necessary to address these issues, it might be time to hire an experienced web development company. Make sure you vet companies carefully, so they’re not just throwing out buzzwords about making websites more accessible.
4) Know that it will take time – You can’t go into this with the idea that everything will be fixed by the time your site goes live. This is an ongoing process and can lead to additional costs down the road if you have a large company with many branches.
5) Not everyone will be reached – Just like any other market, there are some people that will never purchase from your site, and this is especially true when it comes to disabilities. You may never see an increase in sales of certain products, but at least you’ll know that you’ve done the best you can to meet your requirements under the ADA.
6) Avoid using marketing – While it may be tempting to use buzzwords like ” Accessible Website Design ” and other phrases, this is not the best way to go about it. Using terms that are too fancy only confuses customers when they’re searching for companies online.
7) The future – As time goes on, you’ll start to see more changes to the ADA regulations, which will affect your business. These are typically not large scale, but you want to make sure that everyone is up-to-date with these changes so they can adjust accordingly.
8) Stay current – There are many organizations and events that help to keep people informed of the latest news. For example, National Disability Rights Network has several seminars that can be beneficial to businesses and is a great way for you to network with other companies in your area.
9) Resources online – There’s an abundance of information on this topic available online. From the ADA website to other sources, there’s plenty of information for you to read and sort through so you can find the solution that works best for your company.
10) The bottom line – You’ll always come across opposition when you do something to better your business, and in this case, this means finding a web design company that understands the needs of its customers. Keep an open mind and remember that there’s always more than one solution to any problem or issue.