Mark Miller, TPGi’s Director of Emerging Accounts and Platforms at TPGi and the host of our Real People, Real Stories podcast, and Cori Perlander, an Account Manager at TPGi, appeared on the Digital Marketing Institute’s Ahead of the Game podcast to talk about “The Importance of Digital Accessibility.”
What is Digital Accessibility?
The podcast starts off by defining digital accessibility as making sure that a person with disabilities can “complete an action.” For example, Cori, who is blind, uses a screen reader called JAWS that reads digital text out loud. If an app isn’t accessible and JAWS can’t read out what’s on the screen, Cori won’t be able to use the app to, for instance, buy a product.
Why Do Businesses Want to Create Accessible Websites?
Mark explained why businesses tend to seek out accessibility services from companies like TPGi. The two main reasons are: the company has recently been threatened with a lawsuit or the company is concerned they’re at risk of getting sued in the future if they don’t start making their website accessible.
Another reason companies seek out TPGi is that they don’t want to miss out on the market for people with disabilities. Cori explained, “If I come across a website that I can’t navigate, I just don’t go back there. So, sites that work for me…I’ll continue going back there.” Finally, a business might seek out accessibility services because they are an altruistic company and want to create a website that everyone can use.
How To Start Your Accessibility Journey
The host asked, “if I was a small business owner who couldn’t spend much on accessibility, what would be my first steps into creating a more accessible digital experience?” Mark gave two tips to start with:
- Try to tab through your website without a mouse (many people with disabilities do not use a mouse to navigate the computer). If you can’t get through your website, this tells you where some accessibility issues are.
- Download TPGi’s free Chrome extension called ARC Toolkit. You can use this to do an automated scan of different pages on your website. Automated scans can find 30-40% of WCAG issues.