This is an old draft. The published version of this document is at

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you are hereWeb Accessibility Business Case: Overview
Social Factors
Technical Factors
Financial Factors
Legal & Policy Factors

Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization: Overview

This is an old draft. The published version of this document is at

Note: This document is an initial draft [see change log in progress] and should not be referenced or quoted under any circumstances. This document is under development by the Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG), and will be offered to other W3C groups and the public for review.


@@ first sentence - use of the Web - becoming an element @@ The Web is spreading rapidly into all areas of society. In many countries the Web is increasingly used for government information and services, education and training, commerce, news, workplace interaction, civic participation, and entertainment. The Web is an important medium for receiving information as well as providing information and interacting with society. Therefore, an accessible Web that allows people with disabilities to actively participate is essential for equal opportunities in many areas.

There is an initial cost for organizations implementing Web accessibility; however, the initial costs are often offset by a full return on investment. In order to be willing to invest the initial costs, many organizations need to understand the benefits of Web accessibility and the expectations of the returns. The justification to commit resources to a project is often called a "business case". Business cases usually document an analysis of the project's value in meeting the organization's objectives, the cost-benefit analysis, and expected outcomes.

@@ This page is the first in a series of five pages on the business case for Web accessibility. The five pages, called a "resource suite", are designed to help readers develop a customized business case for Web accessibility for a specific organization. The resource suite presents many different aspects of Web accessibility and includes guidance on incorporating these aspects into a specific organization's business case.

[Once no longer a draft document: The information in this resource suite may be used or adapted for different organizations, in keeping with the copyright and document use policies of W3C.]

Factors in a Business Case for Web Accessibility

This resource suite presents the aspects of the business case for Web Accessibility in four pages:

Developing a Customized Business Case

@@perhaps cut down @@ An effective business case focuses on the organization's objectives and motivations. For some organizations the aspects of Web accessibility that closely align with their business objectives are the financial factors, others the legal factors, and others the social impact of Web accessibility. Certain aspects of the value and outcomes of Web accessibility are more important to one organization than another, based on their particular situation. For example, one organization's primary motivation might be to be inclusive to people with disabilities, while another organization's motivation is technical quality and meeting international standards.

Just as organizations' objectives and motivations are different, their business case for Web accessibility is somewhat different. A customized business case for a specific organization will have different content and style, and incorporate different aspects with different emphasis, focused on that particular organization.

To help guide development of a customized business case, the Social Factors, Technical Factors, Financial Factors, and Legal and Policy Factors pages each start with questions to help identify how these factors apply to a specific organization.

Example Emphasis for Different Environments

The examples below show differences in customized business cases:

While a specific business case for Web accessibility might emphasize a few aspects, it often is important to include other aspects as well. For example:

@@Related Resources

Business cases are sometimes accompanied by an implementation plan describing the steps involved in making an organization's Web site accessible. A separate WAI resource suite, Implementation Plan for Web Accessibility, provides information on initial assessment, developing organizational policies, training, selecting authoring tools, and conformance evaluation.

Document Information

Last updated on $Date: 2012/08/01 20:34:14 $ by $Author: shawn $.

Editor: Shawn Lawton Henry. Previous editors: Andrew Arch, Judy Brewer. This resource is under development by EOWG participants in good standing.

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