3 tips to ensure your business meets accessibility standards

PPaul November 22, 2023 7:02 AM

Accessibility isn't an option in today's business landscape—it's a necessity. By making your business accessible, you're not just complying with laws and regulations, but you're also promoting inclusivity and making your products or services available to a wider audience. Here are three tips to ensure your business meets accessibility standards.

Understand the laws and regulations

It's crucial to understand the legal requirements for accessibility in your area. Laws vary by location and industry, but generally, they require businesses to make their physical locations and digital platforms accessible to all users. For example, in the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets guidelines for businesses, ensuring that people with disabilities have equal opportunities. Companies that fail to comply may face lawsuits and damage to their reputations.

To understand these laws, you can use resources like the ADA's website or consult with a legal expert. You should also stay updated on any changes in regulations.

Conduct an accessibility audit

An accessibility audit identifies barriers that might prevent people with disabilities from accessing your business. These barriers can be physical (like a lack of wheelchair ramps) or digital (like a website that isn't compatible with screen readers).

There are a few ways to conduct an accessibility audit. One option is to hire a professional auditor who specializes in accessibility. Alternatively, you can use online tools that scan your website for accessibility issues. These tools can identify problems like missing alt text for images or poor color contrast.

After the audit, you should create a plan to address the issues identified. This might involve making physical modifications to your business or updating your website to be more accessible.

Educate your staff

Education is key when it comes to accessibility. Your staff should understand why accessibility matters and how to provide accessible customer service.

There are several ways to educate your staff about accessibility. You might create an in-house training program, hire an external trainer, or use online resources. Your training should cover topics like how to interact with customers who have disabilities and how to use accessibility features on your website or in your physical location.

In addition, all staff members should be aware of your company's accessibility policies and procedures.

Tip Description
Understand the laws and regulations Get familiar with local and industry-specific laws on accessibility.
Conduct an accessibility audit Identify physical and digital barriers to accessibility.
Educate your staff Use training programs to teach staff about accessibility issues and how to provide accessible services.

By following these three tips, you can ensure that your business is not only compliant with accessibility laws and regulations, but also inclusive and welcoming to all customers.

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