When your website is accessible, not only can users with disabilities engage with your business but thanks to the curb cut effect, most online accessibility practices help users without disabilities enjoy your site too.

In our last post about online accessibility, we discussed the broad reasons for making websites accessible and the barriers created when sites aren’t accessible to everyone. Now, we’re going to look at the benefits of having an accessible website and the consequences businesses can face if they don’t.

The biggest reason to have an accessible website is the economics of it. If your website isn’t accessible, you’re missing up to 20% of the population now, and with the aging population, that number increases every year. No business can afford to turn away a fifth of its potential customers before they’ve even seen what is being offered. Businesses whose websites are accessible will gain that market share and, so long as their sites remain accessible, will also gain customers through word of mouth.

Web Accessibility features are especially prone to the curb-cut effect, which is defined as the experience when features originally meant to help people with disabilities end up being used and appreciated by a larger group than the people they were designed for. Here are some of the most common website accessibility features and how they are beneficial to more than the intended audience.


Captions are often thought to only benefit users with hearing difficulties, but they also help people with processing difficulties. Other groups who benefit from captions on videos include people who are watching in a noisy space, at work, and those who are learning the language and benefit from seeing as well as hearing the words spoken. Many users also prefer watching videos in silence – and keeping their device media volume down when browsing the internet or scrolling social media. Captions allow all of these groups to enjoy your video content.


Using the appropriate colour contrast ratio (the difference in colour between foreground elements such as text and background elements, whether solid or an image) not only permits people who have visual disabilities to see your content but makes visiting a website more enjoyable for everyone by reducing eye strain. Similarly, enabling dark mode on websites can help people with visual and cognitive disabilities, but more than three-quarters of users surveyed in a 2020 poll preferred dark mode when available.

Simple User Authentication Processes

Overly complex, hard to read, or even multiple user authentication processes are a barrier for users with mobility, processing, and memory impairments, but having a simple user authentication process also helps language learners, people with a low frustration threshold, and people who are in a hurry.


Keeping the language on your website clear and concise benefits those with cognitive impairments, short-term memory issues, and vision problems, but it also makes your content accessible to a much wider audience. When content is easy to digest, people are more likely to remember it. Breaking up text with subheadings and lists also increases readability and aids in comprehension.

Keyboard Navigation

Users with physical disabilities and people who use screen readers and text-to-speech programs all navigate websites without a mouse. Which can mean that they have to go through every single item on a menu before they get to the one they desire. Adding skip links to the code allows those using screen readers and keyboard based navigation to skip to the content they desire. Having content that is clear and easy to navigate makes a website better for all users, not just ones who aren’t using a mouse.

Universal design is definitely the best reason to make your website accessible, but if that isn’t enough, consider the fines you can receive if your site is inaccessible. In Canada, companies without accessible websites are subject to fines of up to $250,000, and additional fines and penalties can be imposed at the provincial level. (For example, in Ontario, the AODA states that private companies and non-profit organizations with 50 or more employees and all public sector organizations must have their website compliant with WCAG 2.0 Guidelines or they can face fines of $100,000 / day). In the UK and Europe, there are legal ramifications for not having accessible websites – no matter what the organization size is. In the US companies face the threat of ADA fines and private litigation if their public-facing site is not accessible. Compared to the potential cost of fines, the cost of revamping a website to make it accessible and building websites to accessibility standards is negligible.

If you aren’t sure whether your corporate website is accessible or you need help meeting accessibility guidelines, Y can help. Contact us today to find out how we can help.