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5 reasons for businesses to focus on digital accessibility

Booking an appointment with the dentist, making a bank transfer, or filing your tax return online: tasks like these aren't as straightforward for everyone. Far too many individuals are digitally excluded due to websites and apps not being (sufficiently) accessible. If we aspire to a more inclusive society, businesses and other organizations have a significant role to play. And that’s a win-win situation for all of us. Discover 5 reasons why.

1. Everyone has the right to user-friendly (online) applications

In the past, our lives mainly took place in the analog world. However, over the last 15 years, both large and small organizations have been fully embracing the digitization of their operations and offerings. And that comes with consequences. Technology is evolving so rapidly that the digital world may become a true maze for an increasingly larger group of people. As an organization, you can play a significant role in preventing this by tailoring your products and services to the needs of each individual. This way, everyone can actively participate in our digital society.

2. You’ll reach a larger group of people 

Investing in digital inclusion and accessibility not only makes sense from an ethical point of view but also economically. You can reach people who may not have previously found their way to your organization. According to Eurostat, 1 in 4 Europeans, totalling around 87 million people, has a disability. This is a significant group of individuals who currently experience digital barriers. The Digital Barometer 2022 reveals that nearly half of the Belgian population in our country is digitally vulnerable. And this extends beyond disabilities alone: individuals with low digital skills are also vulnerable and benefit from accessibility.

Organizations that recognize this and make their services or products as inclusive as possible will reach a larger audience. Consequently, they are a step ahead of competitors who don't prioritize accessibility.

3. Your SEO ranking will thank you

The algorithm behind search engines like Google remains a well-kept secret. Nevertheless, a more accessible platform likely has a positive impact on your website's SEO ranking. When your content becomes more accessible to everyone, web crawlers are included. Google is blind. If your content isn't accessible to a screen reader, it's also difficult for search engines to discover. And if Google won't pick up all your content, your ranking will consequently drop.

4. You’re well-prepared for the European Accessibility Act

Starting from June 28, 2025, many digital products and services must comply with the European Accessibility Act. By imposing accessibility standards, Europe aims to ensure that everyone can participate smoothly and willingly in our digital society. The European Accessibility Act offers numerous benefits for businesses. For instance, it will become easier for international companies to comply with regulations, as they will no longer vary from one member state to another. Additionally, the EU predicts that the adoption of a single European standard could lead to a 45% reduction in costs. Begin your preparation in a timely manner to avoid potential fines for digital exclusion.

5. Digital accessibility has a positive impact on everyone  

The modifications you make to enhance the accessibility of your products often have a positive effect on a much larger group of people. This phenomenon is also known as the "curb cut effect." The origin of this term can be traced to the offline world: by creating a curb cut in a sidewalk, wheelchair users can easily go up and down. However, others also benefit from it: a parent with a stroller, a child on a balance bike, someone with a scooter, and so on. Text messaging is another good example. Initially developed as a solution for communication with the deaf and hard of hearing, today everyone uses it. Subtitles or captions, in turn, are crucial for the deaf and hard of hearing, but are now widely used by others as well.

Let's talk.

Do you have any thoughts on this article that you'd like to share? Would you like to have a more comprehensive discussion on digital inclusion and accessibility tailored to your business needs? Then have a look at how we can help or send me a message at [email protected].

By Gijs Veyfeyken

I'm a certified accessibility specialist helping organizations improve their services for all people, including those with disabilities. Making it work. For everybody.