Accessible Documents, the Positive Approach to CompliancePublished on
Nuisance or Opportunity
There are many companies that view document compliance as a nuisance instead of an opportunity. However, that thought process is flawed and causes harm to a company’s bottom line. Taking a positive approach to accessibility by providing documents in large print, braille, audio, and accessible PDF will open doors to an entire customer base you didn’t know existed.
Accessible documents allow your customers with a visual or cognitive disability the chance to make smart choices with their money.
The Upside of Compliance
Many of today’s consumers take a socially conscious approach to their spending. They seek out community-minded companies focused on a social purpose. Many consumers spend their hard-earned dollars in places that treat all of their guests equally. Consequently, this gives them a positive feeling about that company. Today’s consumers also look at how the company uses its profits. This is where accessible documents can make a difference.
Knowing that you actively consider people with disabilities in your business practices leaves consumers with a positive feeling about your company. What’s more, they see the positive social impact your company makes. You can boost your corporate personality by promoting your website’s accessibility statement and showing your customers that you care about everyone.
Accessibility is a positive way to improve your corporate personality and gain access to an underserved population that controls $490 billion in purchasing power. That’s right, you’re leaving money on the table if you ignore accessibility. More to the point, many of your competitors have already recognized the impact of providing accessible documents. As a matter of fact, they are promoting a positive message on social media and other outlets. Thereby garnering more positive feelings.
By using a positive approach to compliance, you can improve the perception of your company in the broader marketplace and attract billions of dollars in additional revenue.
Related: New to Accessibility? Start Here.
The Downside of Noncompliance
Failing to provide accessible brochures, pricing, and other information is against the law. However, the adverse effects go well beyond the cost of lawsuits. It goes to the core of the company’s messaging and extends to its “personality”. Or at least to the public’s perception of its “personality”. (Think online reviews.)
The personality of a company is the feeling that comes to mind when you hear the company name. Is it a positive or negative feeling? This perception will determine if the consumer is a loyal customer or someone who will look for other choices and only select your company as a last resort. Damage done to your corporate personality through negative reviews, word of mouth, and, in some cases, public demonstration, will affect your income for years. Based on industry articles, it can take up to 40 positive reviews to offset one negative review.
It’s also important to point out that the courts are swift to take action when a company fails to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance requirements. The list of non-compliance lawsuits and fines against companies over a lack of accessible printed materials grows every year. The headlines and social media chatter only serve to damage your company’s personality and push people to other companies.
The choice is clear. The pros of ADA compliance far outweigh the cons. Taking this positive approach not only brings more money, but it also helps your customers — and future customers — feel more confident choosing your organization over another.
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