The Case for 508 Compliance Investment

  • 5.08.2023

Contact Us About 508 Accessibility Compliance

    When accessibility complianceof the top one million websiteswasanalyzed, the results were shocking. It wasfound that only 2.2% of homepages met the most basic accessibility requirements.

    Web accessibility is even affecting online shopping behavior. It was reported that over $19 billion worth of online sales were lost due to inaccessible websites. One-fourth of the US population has some form of disability, hence neglecting the 508 compliance requirements directly implies that businesses are losing a significant market segment.

    Did you know that just by incorporating all-inclusive accessible design principles, your market reach can be increased by 30%? Really, a potential increase in revenue, isn’t it?

    There are tons of case studies available showing that section 508 website compliance requirements should be incorporated into the early development process. Rather than repairing inaccessible systems later, it is apparently cost-saving to have an accessible system in the first place.

    508 compliance is not just limited to vendors of government agencies or large corporations. Now, it is essential for all sizes of businesses to win contracts by considering 508 compliance investments.

    Let’s find out how to make your business more inclusive and equitable. Let’s discover the tangible and intangible benefits of investing in a 508 compliant website. In this business case, we include a detailed discussion on market reach, revenue growth and reduced risk of litigation.

    Section 508 website compliance: A case study on Bank of America

    Bank of America, the leading financial institution in the country, decided on a comprehensive digital accessibility approach. Based on the results of 6-months long extensive accessibility audits, they found areas of improvement for their websites and mobile apps.

    Enhancements were implemented, and problem areas of color contrast, navigation, and screen reader compatibility were resolved. Within a period of 12 months, the institution became fully compliant with accessibility standards. This initiative even led to a 10% increase in the number of customers. There was a significant increase in the number of positive online reviews and around 40% of the reduction was reported in the number of accessibility related lawsuits.

    After successfully meeting Section 508 and WCAG requirements, their efforts were recognized across the finance industry. Today, the bank is indeed counted among the leaders in inclusive banking practices.

    Bank of America took a proactive approach and their commitment to inclusivity not just established themselves as a market leader but also resulted in lawsuit risk mitigation. Let’s dive deep into the business case of 508 compliance for website development and discover its impact on customer base and revenue growth.

    How does website 508 compliance increase market reach?

    Investing in rigorous accessibility audits for a 508 compliant website increases customer base. In simple words, when you make your platform more accessible, you open the door for a larger segment of the target audience. Despite their visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disability, you provide them with an accessible platform and consequently, your brand gets appreciated.

    Customers are more likely to support a brand and prioritize inclusivity. To put it simply, an accessible website leads to brand loyalty and repeat business means increased market reach.

    The VPAT process is complicated. Let us handle it for you.

      Save costs and mitigate risks through section 508 and ADA compliance

      Assuring Section 508 and ADA compliance indeed prevents exorbitant legal expenses. However, these laws and accessibility practices are not just regulatory requirements, instead, they are strategic imperatives for the financial well-being of a business.

      Here are some examples to show how Section 508 compliance leads to cost efficiency:

      • Microsoft Office, Amazon, Apple Inc and plenty of other big brands in the global marketplace embraced accessibility standards to evade costly legal disputes.
      • Practicing 508 compliance website requirements right from the onset of development is cost-effective compared to hours of redevelopment.
      • Improved user experience leads to reduced customer queries and eventually reduces operational expenses.
      • Prioritizing accessibility provides the tangible benefit of customer loyalty. Thereby, the costs required for customer acquisition can be minimized.
      • A socially responsible brand fosters creativity, innovation and cost-effective problem-solving methods to optimize overall performance.

      What are 508 compliance requirements?

      Section 508 is a US federal law that mandates equal access to the information provided through electronics and information technology. The accessibility standards are based on WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).  The key requirements include operability, understandability and robustness. Provisions for hassle-free functioning of assistive technology and smooth navigation might save you from legal entanglements. There are various other guidelines and requirements to improve the usability of a website. For instance:

      Alttext: If your business website has images, there should be descriptive alternative text.

      This works for individuals using screen readers to access the content available on your website.

      Keyboard accessibility:Users who may not want to use a mouse or touch screen should be able to access the website solely with a keyboard. Section 508 compliant websites require interactive elements like buttons, links or forms that should be accessed easily with a keyboard.

      Closed captions:Video content is the key requirement for marketing strategies. However, if you don’t provide closed captions for the video, it will be inaccessible for users with hearing impairment.

      Headings and labels:Intuitive browsing should be your priority when you are aiming for ADA and Section 508 compliance. These guidelines require that different sections on a website should be structured using descriptive headings and well-organized labels.

      What is 508 compliance testing?

      The process of Section 508 compliance audit involves testing the navigation of a website using screen readers, keyboard-only controls, and other assistive technologies. It even includes assuring that the color scheme meets the contrast standards. There are lots of tools available to quickly identify accessibility issues, but software scans are only 30% accurate.

      To identify potential barriers to accessibility, Section 508 compliance testing should be done by audit specialists. Human intervention helps in identifying problem areas that software codes are most likely to miss. Audit specialists provide valuable insight and conduct comprehensive evaluations based on real-world scenarios. Hence, to accommodate a diverse user base, it is best to invest in accessibility audits.

      The experts at ADACP are section 508 specialists. Leverage their decades of experience for a thorough evaluation of your digital product’s accessibility compliance. Schedule a consultation for section 508 website compliance and the best approach for digital accessibility.