Why Agencies Are Key Players in DEI and Web Accessibility

web accessibility

 

When it comes to DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) and web accessibility, agencies play a leading role in contributing to an inclusive internet for all. As an agency leader, your firm provides a plethora of services that impact the digital landscape; Training and continuously educating these clients on inclusive practices, such as web accessibility, is a triple-win situation that benefits everyone.

True web accessibility requires that online applications and websites can be used by anyone—specifically those with disabilities—and ties into the DEI efforts that thousands of agencies are already practicing. Not only does web accessibility optimize performance marketing through enhanced SEO and visibility rankings, but it enhances the user experience for the untapped 25% of the U.S. population. As key players on the web accessibility front, you not only break down barriers that people with disabilities experience on your clients’ websites, but in parallel, you increase retention and customer loyalty, while creating buying opportunities for a community that has a spending power of $1.2 trillion.

Agencies are leaders in the representation and inclusivity space, with the power to raise awareness and influence DEI and web accessibility efforts, helping bridge the accessibility gap between people with disabilities and the online world.

How are DEI and Accessibility Related?

Diversity initiatives are commitments to bring together people of different backgrounds, identities and conditions; Equity ensures that once there, each of these people feels psychologically safe to interact or participate within the same space. Inclusion is the act of embracing the differences of these groups of people, so they can feel as if they belong to a familiar, understanding space. It’s up to agencies, and their leaders, that all three definitions are practiced consciously and with continuity.

So, how does web accessibility come into play with DEI? With web accessibility, specific frontend adjustments and backend functions are needed for those living with a disability to interact with a website. From hiring a service to purchasing a product, and even enjoying an engaging video, tailor-made adjustments are required to fit the needs of the user.

As leaders in web accessibility and DEI pursuits, we must remember that being truly inclusive, diverse, and equitable means assisting your clients in making their digital assets comprehensible and accessible.

How Agencies Can Utilize Their Key Player Position

By educating, training, and influencing your clients on the importance of web accessibility, agencies motivate that “must-take” action that holds valuable benefits for all. Agencies can make this happen by:

1. Offering the right tools: Help your clients integrate automated or AI-powered web accessibility tools, like accessiBe’s accessWidget, to make their websites accessible user tailor-made adjustments fit for specific abilities.

2. Leading by example: Help set the new standard for web accessibility and an inclusive internet. By appealing to an untapped market that has been overlooked until now, your clients will increase traffic to their sites while also spearheading diversity, equity, and inclusion practices online.

3. Raising ongoing awareness: Help your clients expand their personal and professional knowledge as it pertains to web accessibility and all-around inclusion. Creating a culture of learning at your agency will attract and retain attention towards an issue that deserves movement and progression.

Benefits of Accessibility Among DEI

Leading web accessibility and DEI practices amongst your clients will harvest great business results, while you do the right thing. Experience the benefits of this win-win-win scenario:

1. Save valuable resources: If your clients are provided with automated web accessibility solutions, you can both save time and money that was once allocated towards other manual implementations and ongoing maintenance resources.

2. Open up new revenue channels: Generating added revenue is always fantastic, but while you help your clients reach their financial goals, they’ll be doing so with an inclusive, compliant website, with you at their side as a compliant agency that leads the pack.

3. Improve brand reputation: As an inclusive agency that oversees clients’ accessible websites, you’re likely to gain a seal of approval from the 25% of the population that lives with disabilities. The community will also spread the word to their families and friends, positioning your agency and your clients as online brands that can be trusted to produce accessible user experiences.

4. Prevent legal implications: Mitigating legal risks by ensuring that your clients’ sites are at the WCAG 2.1 AA level of compliance will give you peace of mind. It’s also a good idea to get started by understanding your clients’ websites’ level of compliance with an automated tool like aCe, so you know how to move forward on your path to web accessibility.

Web accessibility and DEI initiatives are crucial to making good business decisions, but the acts of producing an accessible website and being inclusive are simply just the right things to do. As leaders in your field, agencies have the opportunity to proactively acknowledge a percentage of the population that also wants to take advantage of what the internet has to offer. From professional and moral standpoints, you and your clients can make a conscious effort to help us make progress towards an inclusive web for all. That’s conscious inclusion in action.

Lead the charge and encourage the inclusive movement by starting your web accessibility journey now. Explore and learn more about accessiBe’s Partnership Program, and claim your free agency license.

Author: Kelly Campbell
Kelly Campbell is a Trauma-Informed Conscious Leadership Coach, helping creative and technology leaders transform both life and agency. The former owner of a cause marketing firm for 14 years, her coaching and consulting work focuses on personal development, purpose, positioning, people, pipeline and profitability. She is the host of THRIVE: Your Agency Resource, a bi-weekly video podcast for agency leaders, sponsored by Workamajig. A keynote speaker at leadership conferences across the country, Kelly has been featured in Forbes, Woman Entrepreneur and The Startup on Medium. She is also the founder of Consciousness Leaders, a representation agency pairing trusted and diverse experts with organizations to create positive change and drive lasting results. She is currently authoring her first book on the connective tissue between healing trauma and becoming a conscious leader. Sign up for the book's pre-launch list here.

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