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Accessibility Handbook by Katie Cunningham

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Chapter 6. Selling Accessibility

One of the hardest things about accessibility isn’t necessarily implementing it; it’s selling it. Why put all this effort into making your website accessible when it’s such a small part of most sites’ audience? Many website owners will be reluctant to delay a deployment or add more overhead to an existing project.

U.S. Government Requirement

If a company ever hopes to work on a contract for the U.S. government, it needs to be prepared to comply completely with 508 standards. The standards are required for nearly every web application (and desktop application) that is used in a government office. While this applies only to federal offices, state and local offices must also comply if they receive federal funds. Even if they don’t, however, they still must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Making a website accessible is rarely going to be considered an undue burden by official 508 testers, unless it is used by only one or two people.

Waivers, common years ago, are becoming more rare, and are now limited to applications that a disabled person would never use (for instance, a fighter jet), or the application is being built for a small audience that will never change (such as a selection committee for a one-time workshop). With reusability of applications being touted, the latter is becoming even more rare.

Non-U.S. Governments

What if a company doesn’t do business with the U.S. government, but is considering the governments of other countries? ...

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