Website accessibility isn’t just about social justice or avoiding law suits; designing with accessibility in mind provides benefits for all your clients.
In Australia, perhaps the most high-profile case to examine web accessibility remains McGuire v SOCOG . In this landmark case, SOCOG (the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) was ordered to pay Bruce McGuire (a blind man who uses a screen reader to access the web) $20,000 compensation for the fact that their website had been constructed in a way that made it impossible for him to use certain features. Despite this cautionary tale, it is tempting for small-to-medium-sized businesses to ask whether the ‘extra’ effort is worthwhile to limit the fairly low risk of a lawsuit.
But how much extra effort is genuinely required to create an accessible website, and who actually benefits?