”Most providers have never dealt with web accessibility and don’t know about its advantages,“ explains Heike Clauss, project manager of ”BIK für Alle“ (English: Web accessibility for everyone). This project of the ”Web Accessibility in Business and Commerce“ series is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and runs from early 2015 until late 2018. The goal: educating companies in the private sector about the importance of accessible websites and evaluating websites for accessibility.
The project manager points out, “Accessible websites are not just important for blind persons but for many target groups. Visually impaired customers need to be able to increase the font size and achieve a high degree of contrast. If you are not able to grab a computer mouse due to spasticity, you need a site that is operable through a keyboard interface. Hearing impaired users need sign language or captions in videos. Last but not least, plain language without complicated sentences and countless foreign words is not just extremely helpful for people with learning or cognitive disabilities but also for non-native speakers.“ Senior citizens also prefer websites that are easy to navigate.
This alone shows that companies and their online services are simply not accessible to a large number of potential customers. The losses in sales and the drawbacks for users are unfathomable.