Weekly Update 8.27.19

Open Your Business to the Broader Community by Making Your Website Accessible

Why Your Website Should Be Accessible

Most people have never thought about what it means to have an accessible website. When people hear the word “accessible” the first thing that usually comes to mind is curb cut outs at intersections, and handicap parking spaces. But the world is a big place, and for people with disabilities there are barriers everywhere. Not only physical barriers, but barriers to information. There’s a few different reasons why your website should be accessible:
1. Web accessibility increases your customer base. There are nearly 50 million people with disabilities in the U.S., which is about 19% of the population. What happens when they want to access your website but they’re not able to? They may move on to one of your competitors. Also, web accessibility not only increases the number of people who can access your website, but the techniques that make a website accessible for people with disabilities may also attract other users as well. Web accessibility also helps mobile users, older users, users with low-bandwidth connections, and optimizes site content for search engines to index.
2. ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Compliance. Dozens of companies, universities, cities, and celebrities have been hit with significant lawsuits in recent years for the lack of website accessibility. There have been lawsuits locally as well.
3. It’s the right thing to do. “For those with disabilities, an inaccessible website puts them at a great disadvantage and further perpetuates a feeling of dependence and reliance on others,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “With thoughtful and proper web design, businesses and organizations can have a great impact on the daily lives of people with disabilities who, like everyone else, seek to enjoy the benefits of technology”.
As part of our collaboration with R-DAP, we are encouraging our members to educate themselves and just start somewhere. You don’t have to make your website accessible all at once. Any change you make is a step in the right direction in making your business more user friendly for ALL of your users. If you would like further information on what it means to make your website accessible, please contact Judy Moe, richfielddisabilityap@gmail.com

Board of Directors Positions Open

Photo Credit: Dave Mattson-Laurent

If you are looking for more ways to get involved in the Richfield Community, Friends of Wood Lake Nature Center Board of directors has openings for new board members. Positions of finance chair and dinner chair now available. Only ten meetings per year on the third Thursday of the month from 5:30 to 6:30. This is an active board which reports to the Community Services Commission and is for those who want to help Wood Lake Nature Center and its mission: to provide passive and active nature education and recreation for its many regional visitors, and to preserve the biodiversity of this 150 acre gem in the middle of the city.  Call 612-861-9365 for more information or email Karen Shragg at kshragg@richfieldmn.gov