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Why Your Start-up Should Use an Accessibility Overlay

When you are at the helm of a start-up, there are many matters that you have to attend to. Securing funding, hiring talent, and building a successful product/service are all usually top of the priority list.

Yet, most people tend to overlook the importance of ensuring their website is accessible.

The fact of the matter is that failing to make adequate provisions for disabled users means that you are inadvertently discriminating against them, which is an offense that could cost your company dearly.

That’s because several laws, regulations, and guidelines have been put in place, such as the WCAG 2.1, that help protect the rights of disabled users by giving them equal and fair access to all public websites.

Therefore, you need to make your website accessible to all users, and fully compliant to ADA & WCAG 2.1, s508 standards. Such ADA and WCAG compliance is to save your business from potential lawsuits, as well as help disabled persons to easily access your site and drive sales. Here, a specialist like “Accessibility Spark” can help your site become 100% compliant within 48 hours.

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Aside from the potential penalties your company may face, there are many upsides to running a more accessible website, especially for an up-and-coming start-up.

Nevertheless, most startups can’t afford to pay for a web developer to manually remediate all of their existing code, not to mention the content that will be added in the future. Fortunately, web accessibility overlays offer a simple and effective solution to this problem.

What Is an Accessibility Overlay?

An accessibility overlay is a web-based solution that modifies your website’s back-end code to improve its usability, receivability, and operability.

In most situations, the installation process necessitates the entry of a few lines of JavaScript code, which often entails adding a widget or plug-in straight into your CMS. The entire installation process should just take a few minutes.

Once the overlay is up and running on your website, the software will get straight to work by scanning and evaluating the current level of accessibility across your website. Once the scan is complete, the overlay will begin addressing the shortcoming of your site and its content.

One of the reasons these solutions are so popular is that they are fully automated. As soon as you’ve configured them, you can go about your business as usual, and the overlay will continue monitoring and updating your website even as you add new content. However, that is far from their sole advantage.

Protecting Against Lawsuits

As we mentioned earlier, inaccessible websites are at risk of breaking the law. In the USA, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities or impairments.

Over the past few years, a rising number of lawsuits have been filed against businesses operating inaccessible websites, with plaintiff law firms citing breaches of the ADA Title III over 2,300 times in 2021 (which was a record), according to the BOIA.

If you’re thinking about taking your chances and not addressing your accessibility issues, you may want to reconsider. The average costs of an ADA web accessibility lawsuit average around $25,000 once you factor in the law firm fees, attorney fees, and the subsequent audit/remediation costs.

Prevention is better than the cure, and accessibility overlays certainly go a long way toward keeping your start-up protected from litigation.

Cost-Effectiveness

Unless you are fortunate enough to be at the helm of a unicorn, your start-up is most likely operating on a limited budget. After all, the first few years of any fledgling business are vital, thus most entrepreneurs try to avoid any unnecessary expenses.

That said, even if you have a large amount of revenue coming in, who wants to spend money on web development expenses if they don’t have to?

Start Your Brand off on the Right Foot

During the startup phase, the public perception of your brand can often make or break your company. As a result, making provisions to aid impaired users and providing a more inclusive service is a great way to get things started on the right foot.

Taking a position against prejudice by pushing for inclusivity, even at the expense of your own time and money, is a terrific way to develop positive PR and improve your branding.

Increase Your Digital Reach

Last but certainly not least, a more accessible website means that you will gain access to an extremely lucrative and often overlooked market segment. Believe it or not, the World Health Organization estimates that 15% of the world’s population has a disability.

While some of these people will be able to use your site without issues, many will rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers and keyboard navigation. If your site isn’t compatible with them, you can say goodbye to those visitors.

Installing a web accessibility overlay can be a simple way to gain more exposure to this market. In turn, this will increase your digital reach and may present more opportunities to increase revenue.

Do the Right Thing

While your company is still in its early stages, other responsibilities will undoubtedly take precedence over accessibility, but remember that making your website accessible is simply the right thing to do.

As a business owner, it is your duty to make your products and services available to all individuals, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

Fortunately, accessibility overlays offer a low-cost, straightforward, and effective solution to increase your site’s accessibility, and they demand very little effort on your part, making them a win-win solution for everyone involved.

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