Software accessibility: An overlooked business imperative

Accessibility is an area enterprises often fail to consider as they forge ahead with digital transformations and software development. Here’s why — and how — this should change.

Businesses emphasize the importance of keeping systems, networks, and applications up and running continuously so employees can do their jobs and customers can buy products and services and get support whenever they want.

But how much effort are companies putting into ensuring their software and services are accessible to users, regardless of the users’ abilities? Accessibility is an area enterprises too often fail to consider as they forge ahead with digital transformations and software development.

The stakes of this neglect can be high. If customer-facing interfaces are not designed and built with accessibility in mind, that could lead to product offerings that fail to adequately reach certain populations, reducing the inclusivity of the solutions and their potential customer base. It can also expose organizations to lawsuits. 

“There are a growing number of organizations recognizing the need to make products and services accessible to disabled people,” says Jill Houghton, president and CEO of Disability:IN, a nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion. “But sadly, there are too many companies who do overlook the need for accessibility. The consequences are legal, ethical, reputational, security, and bottom-line related.”

Accessibility: A business imperative and legal obligation

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