Re: Updated again: "Web Accessibility is Smart Business" Presentation

Hi, Denis!

Not only are there some points in Robert's post that should be discussed, but we 
actually have discussed them — just this morning.

The slide that Sharron just distributed is one rough idea about the direction to 
take this argument. It's highly symbolic and, although I haven't opened her 
slide yet, I must say that the general idea holds a lot of promise. (Sharron, 
you apologized for the quality of your sketch, but trust me — your art couldn't 
be any worse than my own!)

In that case, we're specifically recognizing what we came up with ourselves — 
that there are no hard and fast numbers we can point to.

I have another thought on how we can approach this. It won't be hard numbers, 
but I think it, like Sharron's approach, will present the message in a way that 
is faithful to the general truth without getting bogged down in detail. More to 


From: Denis Boudreau <>
To: EOWG (E-mail) <>
Sent: Fri, April 8, 2011 6:29:48 PM
Subject: Re: Updated again: "Web Accessibility is Smart Business"  Presentation

Hi everyone,

I just found this blog post about the presentation we'Re working on and thought 
I should share it with you 
all: <>.

I think there are some points in there that definitely deserve to be discussed.

Still thinking about this so too early for me to decide whether I agree with 
him, but definitely worth considering.



On 2011-04-08, at 2:24 AM, Cecilia Farell wrote:

>I just found an opinion piece on this very business case that I       think 
>nicely addresses both Karl's and Sharron's point of view:
>Abrahams asks, which of the numbers can we say happened because       the site 
>is now more accessible to disabled people? Well, we       really can't tell and, 
>even if we could, the numbers would not       make the case. But that's OK. He 
>goes on to say:
>The message [of the case study] is that thinking about, and       designing for, 
>accessibility is the best way to:
>	* Improve the quality of code and thus reduce maintenance and         improve 
>	* Increase the search engine ranking and drive more visitors to         the 
>	* Increase the usability, which ensures more visitors stay on         the site 
>and then convert to customers.
>	* Improve the look and feel of a site for all, giving the users         a 
>pleasant experience and reducing complaints.
>	* Provide a site that can be used for small format devices such         as 
>mobiles, PDAs and UMPCs.
>These benefits should be attractive to any CEO, CIO or Marketing       Director 
>even if they are not convinced about, or do not       understand, the importance 
>of access for disabled people.
>He concludes:
>My conclusion is that advocates of accessibility, including       myself, should 
>spend less time and effort talking about the       benefits to disabled people, 
>however important we think this is.       Instead we should talk about 
>accessibility as a discipline that       improves the usability and quality of 
>solutions for all users; and       thus improves return on investment and 
>If we talk in these terms we should get want we want with much       less 
>As an example, thinking about designing for accessibility makes       us use ALT 
>text, which we know does more than address the needs of       the disabled. 
>"Sell" the use of ALT text by presenting the bigger       ROI picture and "get 
>what you want" - a use of alternative text       specifically for accessibility, 
>in addition to its other more       general uses.
>Hope this of use. Thanks,
>On 07/04/2011 7:19 PM, Sharron Rush wrote: 
>>Still, I believe it is absolutley a valid example because the       designers 
>>explicitly chose to include accessibility as part of       their redesign 
>>At 06:06 PM 4/7/2011, Karl Groves wrote: 
>>Thanks for the reply, Sharron.  I'm glad         to hear from you. 
>>>> While there are admittedly other aspects of the 
>>>> overall redesign, accessibility is definitely not 
>>>> as trivial as the coat of paint you compare it 
>>>> to.  The point is this:    As accessibility is 
>>>> integrated into the development process, it has a 
>>>> profound affect on how design decisions are made. 
>>>> The improved results are so closely interrelated 
>>>> that - well, you can not separate them, which is 
>>>> what I think you said.  Would the outcomes have 
>>>> been as great if the deliberate inclusion of 
>>>> accessibility features NOT been made?  We don't 
>>>> know.  Improved outcomes have been demonstrated 
>>>> in other cases, but we have permission from Legal 
>>>> and General which, I believe is why we rely on that one         situation 
>>>> so heavily. 
>>>I kept the above paragraph because I didn't want to seem to be         taking 
>>>things too out of context.  You say: 
>>>" Would the outcomes have been as great if the deliberate         inclusion of 
>>>accessibility features NOT been made?  We don't         know." 
>>>I think this sort of makes my point: we don’t know whether         L&G's 
>>>amazing results were specifically due to accessibility         improvements.  In 
>>>a presentation aimed at making that argument,         any case studies included 
>>>should be *just* about accessibility.          I feel that a more compelling 
>>>business case would be one in         which a list of accessibility problems 
>>>were found, they were         repaired, and they were shown to have a specific 
>>>and directly         attributable benefit. 
>>>Unfortunately finding such a business case will be quite         difficult. As 
>>>you note, accessibility often is not (and should         not be) its own 
>>>separate effort. All teams involved in design         & development need to 
>>>integrate accessibility into the         entire process in order to get a more 
>>>accessible end product and         so when it is done right it is more of a 
>>>quality of work issue.         Nevertheless I still feel that such "business 
>>>case" would be as         closely tied as possible to accessibility only. 
>>>As you note in the remainder of your response, getting a client         to 
>>>consent to using them as a business case is a challenge.          I've been 
>>>trying to get some business case-type data from some         for a long time as 
>>>well and it is difficult. 
>>>Karl L. Groves 
>>>Director, Training 
>>>Deque Systems, Inc. 
>>>Phone:  443.517.9280 
>>>Is a non-compliant website putting your organization at risk?         Visit 


Cecilia Farell

Received on Saturday, 9 April 2011 00:26:32 UTC