How to Sell Accessibility to a Sceptic

Anezka Virani
Hucentric Blog
Published in
6 min readFeb 25, 2022

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An illustration about accessbility
Source: Tubik Arts on Dribbble

Accessibility has become a major area of importance for the design industry as it allows more and more users; to be able to utilise their designs just like others. It means accessibility is a concept or idea that makes any service or product usable to everyone, be it a specially-abled person or not. Although the designers integrating the concept in their designs are confident that it will make it easier and better for their users to interact with their designs, there are a lot of myths going around. These myths at times make people question the concept and, because of that reason, the question arises, “How to Sell Accessibility to a Sceptic?”

Myths about accessibility

  1. A separate website for the disabled or specially-abled people should solve the issue in a better way
    Earlier, when accessibility was not much accepted, people used to think that maintaining different versions of their website for the disabled will solve the problem, but it did not work out as they realised it cost them way more time, money and effort rather than maintaining just one website and keeping it fully accessible.
  2. Accessibility is only to take care of the lawsuits and is optional
    Many big companies did not make their websites accessible and had to face the consequences by paying a high price as per the laws. It should not be considered optional or done just for the law but the more accessible your website will be, the more your users will be satisfied.
  3. Only disabled people are affected by accessibility: Making your website accessible improves the overall user experience of your website helping both disabled and abled people at the same time.
  4. Accessibility once achieved can be forgotten thereafter
    It is so not true! With the change in time and technology, there will be newer ways to achieve better accessibility and your users will change too. So, you have to keep improving and changing the accessibility of your website when required and also pass on the skills to the future team.
  5. Following WCAG and ARIA attributes is the only way to make your website accessible
    Just following WCAG may not be enough until you have considered all the requirements of all your users. Also, one should not mistake that only ARIA attributes can be used, simple semantic HTML can also be used.

Considering all these things at once, accessibility is not just about disabled people and lawsuits and is not optional. It is a way to improve the experience of your users with your website and provide them with a satisfactory experience by making required changes with time.

Accessibility quick tips

Now that we have comprehended what kind of myths are going around and; what the truth about them is. Let’s move on to some quick things to be kept in mind while making your website accessible.

  • Colours play a vital role in web designs and should be used wisely. You can avoid using bright or loud colours and also, be careful while using colour combinations, to not cause any discomfort to the colourblind users.
  • The contrast between the text and the background contributes to accessibility, according to the WACG. Always make sure the contrast ratio is greater than 4.5:1.
Screenshot of the Stark contrast checker plugin on Figma
Source: Stark on Dribbble
  • When using any type of media like images, videos, or hyperlinks, do not forget to use the alt tags for them. Also, add transcripts or subtitles to your videos for a better user experience.
Ilustration explaining video captioning
Source: Stark on Dribbble
Screenshot explaining how alt text can be added to images on Medium
Medium’s new update allows images in blogs to have alt text embedded
  • Ensure that users can tab through interactive items in a logical order, usually from left to right and top to bottom. Sometimes a logical order will be obvious to your front end team based on a simple layout, but in more complicated layouts you may need to identify the tab order in your wireframes or mockups.
Image explaining how tab order must be defined for UI elements
Source: OneUI

Selling Accessibility to a Skeptic

To sell accessibility to a sceptic (a person who does not trust someone’s ideas easily) is an art that you must learn. Before knowing how you can do that, know that scepticism is not something you should consider destructive. If you know how to present them with your ideas and show them how that idea works in their favour, surely, they will accept it with open arms.

  1. Legal Risk:
    Although, a person might be sceptical, but they will surely understand what might be legal and whatnot. You can explain to them how accessibility plays a crucial role in UX designing and if it is not taken care of, there might be some legal risks. One big example of this legal consequence was in 2000. A complaint was filed with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC) over the inaccessibility of the Sydney Olympics website. The complainant, who was blind, alleged that the site was discriminatory under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992. The judgment in the Sydney Olympic suit in 2001 highlighted the need of addressing accessibility in the burgeoning practice of digital communication. Thus, your client, if sceptical, must understand this point.
  2. Scope in the market:
    There are a lot of people with disabilities who are able to use the internet and websites for their use if the websites are accessible and the market keeps growing with the increase in the world population as well. As per the facts, approximately 15% of the world population is living with disabilities i.e. about 1.2 billion population of the world. It means there is a lot of reaches possible if accessibility is taken care of.
  3. Brand enhancement:
    A demonstrated commitment to accessibility can reflect a company’s true dedication to CSR (CSR). Businesses can reap a variety of benefits if they recognise and respond to the different requirements of their stakeholders and commit to sustainable, inclusive marketing and employment practices. CSR programs may result in improved brand image and reputation, greater sales and consumer loyalty, increased worker diversity, and a variety of other advantages. Thus, it can be helpful in selling accessibility to a sceptic.
  4. Accessibility is simple and can look good:
    Many sceptical people think that if a design is accessible, it will not be good-looking, and also it is quite complex to achieve it. It is commonly misunderstood that it will take a lot of effort and time and; only the experts can do it, which will cost them a lot. In that case, show them how your design has a great user interface and is also accessible.
  5. Utility:
    It is possible that a client might not be able to understand the utility of accessibility. If that happens, you should be prepared to explain to them what it is and how it benefits the users they are targeting.

Summing up everything, to sell accessibility to a sceptic, you must learn how to negotiate with people without making them feel like you are not paying attention to what they are saying, compromise when you have to and land on the same page so that your client is satisfied, have multiple ideas while pitching and explain how it is useful and integrates to their ideas.

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Anezka Virani
Hucentric Blog

Co-founder & Chief Design Officer @ Hucentric. I believe in leveraging creativity to innovate and create a more human-friendly world.