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Five Reasons Why Your B2B Organization Should Care about Digital Accessibility

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Written by: E Foley

Retail store iconAs you may have noticed, our blog focuses quite a bit on the legal news surrounding digital accessibility. That will probably continue to be the case until there is clear language in the books concerning how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to the internet.

Most of those lawsuits are coming from individual customers who can’t access a company’s website. But you’re a B2B organization, so that doesn’t affect you, right?

Cue the sad trombone. You may not be in the legal crosshairs as often as B2C organizations are, but you should still care about digital accessibility… and here are five reasons why:

5. Your Website is (Probably) Included under the ADA

The current Department of Justice has abandoned plans to update the ADA so it reflects current technology, so the question of whether a website is a “place of public accommodation” under Title III is being batted around by the courts. The answer has been swinging more toward Yes than No, and we anticipate that when the ADA is updated, it will be a firm Yes.

Will you get sued if your B2B organization’s website isn’t accessible? We can’t say yes, but we can’t say no either. You’re likely under less scrutiny than an organization that sells to the general public, but that doesn’t make you risk-free.

But think of it this way: the majority of your buyers are doing research on the internet before talking to one of your salespeople. Each buyer represents hundreds, thousands, or perhaps millions of dollars if you win their business. It would be a shame if even one of them clicked away because your website was not accessible.

4. Your End Users Care about Accessibility

Maybe XYZ Corp’s buyer does not have a disability. They can easily read your website, watch your demo videos, and browse your case studies. They can teleconference with your sales representative and see exactly how your technology can improve their business.

That’s all great, but it’s just one person. Their organization is full of employees, any number of whom could be disabled or develop a disability through illness, injury, or the aging process. Many baby boomers are continuing to work past the traditional retirement age. A little arthritis or a cataract isn’t going to stop them, not when assistive technologies like voice control and screen magnification exist.

3. You Can Write Winning RFPs

You want that contract with XYZ Corp so bad you can taste it! One way you can be sure to stand head and shoulders above your competition is to include information about the accessibility of your products.

While Section 508 dictates procurement rules for B2G organizations, many organizations outside of the government use similar rules when procuring technology.

You will want answers to questions like these:

  • How do you evaluate your products and services to ensure they meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, Level AA?
  • Do you do manual testing by users with disabilities?
  • What is your policy and process for tracking and fixing accessibility issues?
  • Does your organization have an accessibility expert on staff?

Looking for more about writing winning RFPs? Stay tuned, because that’s coming up in a future post.

2. It’s the Right Thing to Do

The best kinds of businesses do well (financially) by doing good (for their customers/community). When you show that you care about each and every person that comes in contact with your brand, you build amazing relationships. Relationships that lead to brand loyalty. Relationships that make people want to tell their friends and their professional network about how inclusive you are.

1. Accessible Design Benefits Everyone

When accessibility is considered from the early stages of development, something beautiful happens. Your design becomes simple, elegant, and easy to use for everyone, not just those with disabilities.

Think about the ATM: when it was redesigned, not only did it become accessible for those with disabilities, it also gained features that benefitted everyone. Now you can insert a check into the ATM sans envelope and the ATM will scan it and read the amount. How cool is that?

Want to Get Started?

If you’re all revved up and ready to do well by doing good, we’ve got some great resources for you. Check out our whitepapers and our list of upcoming and recorded webinars. And of course, if you’d rather jump right in and get a quick assessment of your website, we have our experts ready to help – contact us now!

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