In my previous post, I argued that the accessibility discussion often glosses over costs (in terms of planning, implementation, and testing), and that a more successful case for accessibility would acknowledge those costs. After hearing other perspectives via comments on the post, digging further into WCAG guidelines, and participating in internal discussions/workshops, I want to amend part of that argument.
I still think the better case for accessibility is one that talks about costs, because cost is a key part of most businesses' decision-making.
But the best case for accessibility would lead with this revelation: Actually, for many websites — and certainly for many agency projects — the costs are trivial to implement and test common, high-impact accessibility items.
And if that's the case, we don't need to reframe accessibility at all. I mean, we can — but kind of who cares? If more businesses and people knew they could do the right thing and make accessible sites with little additional cost, I think most would do the right thing.
That means the key is not only to encourage more people in our industry to be well-educated about accessibility. It's to understand that an important part of that education is non-judgmentally addressing concerns — including concerns about costs — and ignorance.
And speaking of ignorance: Just because I'm an accessibility newb doesn't mean Viget is an accessibility newb. We've incorporated accessibility into many of our projects, and Jeremy, Jason, and Megan are leading internal efforts to standardize accessibility training and implementation. Viget is investing in those efforts — and in efforts like my posts — so we can do the right thing as much as possible.