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Accessibility isn't time-consuming and expensive

3 minutes read

This email is part of a larger series on believing six impossible things before breakfast.

Yesterday, we talked about how accessibility isn't a technical problem. Today, we'll tackle the next impossible thing on our list.

Accessibility isn't time-consuming and expensive

I know what you're thinking. Accessibility is yet another thing on your list to worry about. And everything on your list adds to your bottom line, potentially blowing your budget.

I get it. Doing work is more expensive than not doing work. The problem is, doing work isn't optional. You'll have to do it eventually. So you can choose to do it when your house is burning down and everyone is running in circles trying to put it out. Or you can do it calmly, at your own pace, when there's no heat around you.

The thing is, most accessibility accommodations are straightforward and easy to implement. Things like descriptive link text, using semantic HTML, or using the proper heading structure have no impact on overall cost. Not to mention they follow long-established web standards that you should already be using.

Implementing all this from the start will add no extra costs.

Some accommodations are more involved and will require putting in the extra effort. Adding captions for visual media or ensuring proper keyboard navigation for your custom HTML widgets are two examples.

Even so, if you consider the costs of implementing them under a time-crunch, you'll quickly realise that what is expensive and time consuming is retrofitting an inaccessible website.

Think about all the customer support tickets, the redesign and the costly re-work that you can avoid if you make it accessible to begin with. All those efforts to fix an inaccessible website at the last minute is what will blow your budget.

Failure to provide the right experience for your users is what really becomes time consuming.

Not to mention the cost of not addressing accessibility in the long run. Think of lost business opportunities, legal liabilities, lost revenues, and decreased customer loyalty.

If you plan accessibility from the start, you'll have little impact on your budget. Accessibility requires some upfront costs, but the long-term benefits will outweigh these costs.

But you have a small team without resources to hire dedicated accessibility staff, so meeting these standards seems like too much of a burden. Surely you can just bring in an outside company to deal with accessibility and you can carry on like it doesn't exit.

Not really, because you can't outsource accessibility.

Let's pick that up tomorrow!

Did you enjoy this bite-sized message?

I send out short emails like this every day to help you gain a fresh perspective on accessibility and understand it without the jargon, so you can build more robust products that everyone can use, including people with disabilities.

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