My journey as a CMO continues….
A couple of days ago, I watched a webinar on the latest marketing trends for enterprise corporations. From Mobile technology to HTML 5, a variety of trends where discussed, but one thing that caught my attention was a story on accessibility.
The facts are what ultimately caught my attention. Did you know that 54 million people in the United States require assistive technology? Basically, that is 2 out of 10 Americans. These numbers alone caught my attention.
Fast forward to my Monday morning meeting with my team where I asked, “Can anyone tell me if our website has been tested for accessibility?” I was answered with the sound of crickets. So I challenged my team to find out!
As it turns out there are numerous assistive technologies such as ChromeVox, Microsoft Narrator, WebAIm (Web Accessibility in Mind) or WebAnywhere available on the web. These products give you an insight into how people with disabilities are interacting with your website.
I challenge you to open up any of these tools, turn off your monitor and unplug your mouse. Trust me this is a little easier than putting on a blindfold and constantly reaching for your mouse! Now try to interact with or read the content on your page using the screen reader tool. How easy is it to navigate through your website? Can you understand the context of the content? Is it difficult to purchase an item? Ultimately, how accessible is your content?
Later that week my team came back to me after trying these various assistive technologies on our website. It appears that most of our pages did not meet the standards set forth by the W3C.
Naturally, the next step for my team was how to audit our site and make changes to the pages which required attention. I asked, “Now can anyone tell me how to make our website more accessible?” This time I could hear a pin drop.
Do you know how accessible your website is?
For additional information, check out G3ICT which has a ton of information and guidance on technologies to make websites accessible.