Daily Buzz: The Importance of Web Accessibility

Why making your website usable for all is the right thing to do. Also: harnessing the power of a valuable advertising strategy—word-of-mouth.

if you’re in the midst of a website refresh, don’t forget to put web accessibility on your list of priorities, writes DelCor’s Tom Jelen. Making your website accessible means designing it in a way that makes it usable for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, location, or ability.

Not only is accessibility strategically important, but it’s also the right thing to do, Jelen argues. According to the World Bank, 15 percent of the world’s population, or 1 billion people, have some form of disability, making them more likely to experience adverse socioeconomic outcomes.

“Your association can help lessen those adverse outcomes by ensuring that everyone can access your association’s digital experience,” Jelen says.

Striving for better web accessibility will also improve your content’s performance, since good SEO practices go hand in hand with accessibility.

“In the same way that persons with disabilities may require alternative text descriptions of images, easy-to-follow headings, and clear link titles, search engine spiders (the computer programs that index the web) need that information, too,” Jelen says.

Beyond strategy, web accessibility may even be a legal requirement for your organization.

“There is a growing legal consensus that if the Title III requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) apply to your association, you may be required to make your website accessible,” Jelen says.

How to Generate Word-of-Mouth Advertising

When it comes to advertising your products or services, word-of-mouth is extremely beneficial. According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report from 2015, 83 percent of consumers completely or somewhat trust recommendations from people they know, and 66 percent said the same for reviews posted online.

“We are simply more likely to trust someone we know—or even a stranger, so long as they don’t work for whoever would benefit from our business,” writes Chelsea Brasted of Association Success.

How can organizations take advantage? Generate word-of-mouth buzz with a well-placed member testimonial that showcases the impact of your organization. In the same vein, keep an eye out for positive reviews online. When you see one, help spread the word.

“Pick out the real gems, have a conversation with the member who shared it, thank them, and then ask if you can publicize their experience more broadly,” Brasted says.

Other Links of Note

Nonprofits doing advocacy for controversial issues may face online harassment. There are several ways to deal with it, writes Hannah Brennan in Beth’s Blog.

Have an emergency remote work plan? Work strategist Cali Williams Yost breaks down the steps to put one together in the Harvard Business Review.

Does diversity and inclusion training work? A recent post in the HR People + Strategy Blog explores its benefits and potential shortcomings.

(GOCMEN/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Michael Hickey

By Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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