Accessibility Compliance: Where Everyone Wins

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Today we’re going to talk about document accessibility compliance.

We’re going to talk about why you need it, how it keeps you lawsuit-free, and how Braille Works can help you maintain it. Now, many business owners think the same thing- “I don’t really need to comply with all these accessibility regulations.” The reality, though, is that this mindset hurts everyone involved in your company for several reasons. For one, people with a visual impairment have the same rights as sighted people to use digital and physical documents. Not making your business’ digital and physical documents accessible isn’t fair to them. In fact, lack of accessibility compliance could constitute discrimination, but we’ll get into that later.

Aside from the ethical standpoint, noncompliance might be costing you a significant amount of business. In fact, you’re missing out on revenue from a whole market segment that you might not even know exists. Over 12 million people in the U.S. over the age of 40 have some range of vision impairment. So, if your company’s digital and physical documents aren’t compliant, these people don’t have proper access to your company. 

While this information is essential, it’s just as important to know that those who are blind or have low vision are not the only people who need your company to be accessible. Many other groups benefit from accessibility. Let’s explore a few.

Senior Citizens

Most people experience some level of vision loss as age increases. Large print text or a more accessible digital document with features like increasing font size greatly enhances ease of access and readability for seniors with visual disabilities. This can provide crucial help in understanding important financial, medical, or legal information.

Senior citizen woman reading a book while drinking tea

Those with Dyslexia

Dyslexia affects over 40 million Americans. It often goes undiagnosed, and many of those who have it never receive the help they need. On the bright side, a study on the effect of text size found that both reading errors and speed are improved when letters and numbers are larger. This suggests that a stressed visual system might negatively impact reading comprehension. Having larger and clearer content available helps ease the daily challenge for those affected. 

Frustrated girl holding her head while looking at a laptop

ESL & Reluctant readers

When English is your second language, small type can pose a challenge to understanding what you’re reading. Large print text can aid reading comprehension, improve letter and word recognition, and increase feelings of confidence and satisfaction. Better yet, your customers will feel empowered from doing business with you.

Woman writing on a notebook while looking at a laptop

How noncompliance affects you

With 12 million people in the U.S. having some range of vision impairment, it should be a no-brainer that lacking accessibility could cause you some trouble down the road. As we stated before, noncompliance can be terrible for business, as you are excluding 13% of Americans. The business that you could be bringing in but aren’t, speaks for itself. Additionally, noncompliance can very easily classify as discrimination, which can land you in a boiling-hot lawsuit. ADA compliance-related lawsuits have happened with many companies and should serve as a cautionary tale for yours.

When being socially responsible, everyone wins

These days, people want to be socially responsible and often choose companies that do the same. The thing is, compliance isn’t just about following the law. It also demonstrates the diligence your business has about providing equal service for everyone. Through inclusion and social responsibility, your clients gain confidence and independence with a format they can read. Customers feel empowered because a company is so accommodating for accessibility, and thanks to that, they can now read and use these documents independently. Plus, you’ve now gained both a loyal consumer and a spokesperson thanks to your inclusivity.

When a person with a disability receives quality service and accessibility, they are highly likely to share those experiences with their friends, family, and acquaintances. This promotes word of mouth and speaks volumes about your company, which can invite more business. As noted business guru Martin Lindstrom said, ”Word of mouth is powerful, trusted, and cheap”.

Compliance regarding accessibility in digital and physical documents makes far more of a difference than you would think. It’s something that many people don’t even think about, but it holds the utmost importance to those who need it. Imagine if you couldn’t read how much your power bill was this month or couldn’t read your bank statements. The fact that this information is completely inaccessible without proper document modification should speak volumes of its importance.

How we can help

So, knowing there are laws to follow for accessibility compliance might be a little daunting. However, you don’t have to go it alone. Braille Works is and has been a robust leader in the accessibility industry. For nearly 30 years, we’ve partnered with companies to create accessible documents and ADA-compliant alternatives to standard print. We truly understand the gravity of following federal guidelines and statutes while providing accessible content that empowers your customers. So when Braille Works helps you get compliant, you garner a positive reputation and help those with a visual impairment access their documents. It’s your responsibility to be compliant, and with Braille Works on your side, you can be confident knowing you are maximizing both business for you and accessibility for others. Now that’s an outcome where everybody wins.

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