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Why is the Website Accessibility Market so Confusing?

Buying Products, Services for ADA Compliance

You’ve probably heard of web accessibility, the practice of making websites accessible to people with disabilities.

You may also know that web accessibility is not only a moral duty, but also a legal requirement in many countries, including the US.

But do you know how to make your website compliant with the web accessibility standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

If you’re like most website owners, you probably don’t. And that’s not your fault.

The truth is, the website accessibility market is confusing.

There are so many products and services out there, claiming to make your website accessible, but not all of them are reliable, effective, or affordable. How do you know which one to choose?

How do you avoid wasting time and money on solutions that don’t work or that could get you sued?

In this article, we’ll try to clear up some of the confusion and help you make an informed decision.

We’ll explain what web accessibility is, why it matters, and what are the main challenges and solutions. We’ll also give you some tips on how to evaluate and compare different products and services, and how to find the best one for your needs and budget.

Let’s get started.

Understanding The Importance Of Web Accessibility

Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them.

More specifically, people can:

  • perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the web
  • contribute to the web
  • access the same information and services as everyone else

Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the web, including auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual disabilities.

It also benefits people without disabilities, such as older people with changing abilities, people with temporary or situational impairments, and people with low bandwidth or slow internet connections.

Web accessibility matters for many reasons, such as:

  • It’s the right thing to do. People with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else, and the web should be inclusive and accessible to all.
  • It’s good for business. People with disabilities are a large and growing market, with an estimated $8 trillion in disposable income annually. By making your website accessible, you can reach more customers, increase your conversions, and improve your reputation.
  • It’s required by law. Many countries have laws and regulations that require web accessibility, such as the ADA in the US, the Equality Act in the UK, or the European Accessibility Act in the EU. Failing to comply with these laws can result in lawsuits, fines, and reputational damage.

What are the Main Challenges and Solutions for Web Accessibility?

Making your website accessible may seem daunting, especially if you don’t have the technical skills or the resources to do it yourself.

Fortunately, there are many products and services that can help you with web accessibility, such as:

  • Website accessibility software. These are browser add-ons or plugins that make your website more accessible by adding features such as text-to-speech, magnification, contrast, keyboard navigation, and more. Some examples are UserWay, accessiBe, EqualWeb, and AudioEye.
  • Website accessibility testing tools. These are tools that scan your website and identify accessibility issues, such as missing alt text, low contrast, or broken links. Some examples are WAVE, AChecker, axe, and Lighthouse.
  • Website accessibility consultants. These are experts who can audit your website, provide recommendations, and help you implement web accessibility best practices. Some examples are WebAIM, Level Access, Deque, and The Paciello Group.

Each of these solutions has its pros and cons, and none of them can guarantee 100% web accessibility or compliance. That’s why it’s important to do your research and compare different options before you buy.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when evaluating and comparing different products and services:

  • What are the features and benefits of the product or service? How does it address the web accessibility standards and guidelines, such as WCAG or ADA?
  • What are the limitations and drawbacks of the product or service? How does it handle complex or dynamic content, such as forms, videos, or animations?
  • What are the costs and risks of the product or service? How much does it cost, and what are the terms and conditions? Does it offer any guarantees, warranties, or indemnities?
  • What are the reviews and testimonials of the product or service? What do other customers say about their experience, satisfaction, and results?
  • What are the alternatives and competitors of the product or service? How does it compare to other similar or different solutions on the market?

By asking these questions, you can narrow down your choices and find the best product or service for your website accessibility needs.

Conclusion

Web accessibility is not only a moral duty, but also a legal requirement and a business opportunity.

However, the website accessibility market is confusing, and finding the right product or service can be challenging. That’s why you need to do your homework and compare different options before you buy.

By following the tips in this article, you can make an informed decision and make your website more accessible, compliant, and profitable.

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