Minnesota company making websites and apps accessible to people with disabilities

Hands up – how many of your bought at least half of your holiday presents online? Me too! Some site were easy to use; some where not. I had kid sending me empty shopping carts or texting me links I had to convert to my laptop if I needed to see shipping options. My fingers are crossed that everything arrives on time.

Now imagine the ups and downs of online holiday shopping if you had visual, physical or other impairments that made it even more difficult to complete a purchase online. Or imagine that you sell your wares online and you don’t even know if you’re losing sales because your site is not accessible – there’s a local company that can help with that. They were recently featured in The Line

While wheelchair ramps, closed captioning and wider doorways have become commonplace, the digital realm still lags behind.

Accessible360, founded by entrepreneur Mark Lacek, seeks to fix that oversight. The company’s purpose is to make websites and digital apps fully functional for those impaired by blindness, deafness, or physical or cognitive restrictions. The company was launched this April and began promotion last month, just in time to help businesses comply with a rollout of new regulations from the Department of Justice in 2018.

It’s something to think about – maybe not today, but next month when the rush is over and you have time to regroup and think about sales for 2017…

Checkout screens are a notorious problem for blind users, he explains, which alienates disabled users and decreases potential sales. Studies show that disabled Americans spend more time online than their non-disabled counterparts, so it’s essential for companies to adapt to their needs. “Up to 85 percent of websites are not compliant based on what the current ADA guidelines are,” says Lacek.

One added bonus – generally what’s good for accessibility is also good for search engine optimization!

This entry was posted in Digital Divide, economic development, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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