Consider these accessibility facts:
- The 1996 Chartbook on Disability in the United States estimates that “19.4% of non-institutionalized civilians in the United States, totalling 48.9 million people, have a disability. Almost half of these people (an estimated 24.1 million people) can be considered to have a severe disability.”
Source: LaPlante, 1995
- “Approximately eight percent of web users have a disability. Nearly half of those users are blind or visually impaired.”
Source: Georgia Tech’s GVU WWW Survey (April 1998)
- Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act state that “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of a public entity.”
- Section 508 (Information Technology and People with Disabilities) amendment to the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 “requires that Federal agencies’ electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public.” This change was originally projected for August 7, 2000.
Source: Americans with Disabilities Act
These facts are extremely important as they demonstrate that good accessibility can be reinforced by the law. Therefore, considering the accessibility of your site to those with disabilities is not only a wise business decision, it’s a wise moral and legal choice too.