The Economic Case for Accessibility

Blind and visually impaired people will never use the Internet like sighted people. It’s not fair, but it’s true. If it makes you feel better, visually impaired people have text read to them at 400+ words per minute (about three times faster than the rest of us). Making the web accessible is not easy, nor does it seem economically feasible when only 2.6% of the population is effected (that’s 161 million people worldwide). For those unconvinced that hundreds of extra hours of development and testing is worthwhile, consider the true economic value: search engine optimization (SEO). It turns out that simple accessibility changes also lead to higher PageRank, probably because web crawlers are blind. So dress up your images, links, and videos: you’ll make your site easier to find and easier to read.