Accessibility is Good Business

The World Wide Web has become a necessity rather than a luxury in today’s digital world. That is why it is crucial for Content Management Systems (CMS) designers to consider the needs of all consumers, including people who have visual, hearing, cognitive or motor impairment. CMS is the software application programs used to create and manage digital content. With one in five Americans reported to live with a disability, the need to cater to this large population is paramount. And, although the Web was not conceived to be used by people with disabilities, the fact is, it has evolved to be pivotal in assistive technology aids for those who do not use traditional methods of communication and media gathering.

According to an article in CMSWire by Kayla Ismail, it makes good business sense to make your website accessible to all, and CMS vendors should start to take accessibility more seriously. “Many companies seem to think that accessibility doesn’t matter because they don’t have a large enough population of disabled users. But accessibility matters for everyone,” says Karen McGrane, a user and content strategist. The movement towards changing the mindset of web designers and organizations is slow, but there is some indication that accessible websites are becoming more mainstream.

The United Kingdom government is publishing a series of posters to promote design guidelines to developers to assist consumers on the autism spectrum, those who are visually impaired and those with motor disabilities. Their interaction designer, Karwai Pun, said designers should consider everyone when implementing their designs, “Good design is accessible design, so we need to factor everyone into our community,” said Pun during a Responsive Web Design podcast episode. “Our community is diverse, and we should embrace that.”

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