As we’ve shared many times in this space, it is well known that all companies, including those in the Fortune 100, are having accessibility issues with their digital presence. In fact, according to a research project done by analyst firm Ovum with research analysis by digital governance management company Crownpeak, an estimated 815,600 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 issues were found on websites belonging to companies in the Fortune 100 alone.
Information about the project can be found here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190409005650/en/
It is worth repeating that on top of the expense that comes with litigation, fines, and lost sales, angry clients are another unpleasant result of non-compliance. To be in breach of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) equal access regulations can only be bad. As noted here before, law firm Seyfarth Shaw reported that in the United States, no less than 1053 federal lawsuits relating to website accessibility were filed against businesses found to violate the ADA in just the first half of 2018, with no end in sight.
Interestingly, even major companies with large budgets do not yet seem to understand the importance of digital accessibility and are not investing the resources needed to become truly compliant and accessible to all. Given the risks and revenue at stake delivering seamless online experiences should be of major concern.
Consumers are increasingly reliant on the internet for many aspects of their daily lives and by having standards that conform to current guidelines, organizations are best able to resolve issues before they become problems and to deliver a satisfactory overall user experience regardless of the industry involved. Avoiding the risks associated with non-compliance surely helps businesses gain a competitive advantage at the very least.
Crownpeak conducted the survey using its Digital Quality Management (DQM) tool to audit a sample of 2,500 web pages per company. The survey focused on major aspects of WCAG 2.1 Levels A and AA that are verifiable through automated testing, including important factors that contribute to keyboard accessibility, navigability, and screen reader compatibility. These included:
use of headings and labels
provision of meaningful link text
provision of alternative (alt) text for non-text assets such as images
ability to resize text
inclusion of a visible focus
ability to navigate in a logical order