The Business Case for Digital Accessibility:
The sources below are categorized as much as possible according to their central topic relating to the several aspects of the Business Case for Accessibility. There is some overlap and some articles or papers were broad enough to be in a category designated simply as “general.”
Something to share?
We welcome your contributions to the Business Case for Accessibility. Share articles, case studies, employment success stories, and any related resources or topics. To submit, please write to the editors list of the Accessibility Education and Outreach Working Group at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Sydney Olympics 2000 Website Accessibility Decision. Independent Living Institute (2000).
Type: Online library archive
Summary: The article summarizes the proceedings of the lawsuit, the outcome, and the reasons for the favorable decision for the plaintiff in the case of Bruce Lindsay Maguire vs Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.
Web Accessibility and the DDA. Sloan, M.; Journal of Information Law & Technology, University of Warwick (2005).
Type: Peer-reviewed article in the online Law Journal of the Glasgow Graduate School of Law
Summary: Academic exploration, based on global trends of whether and to what extent the disability rights legislation in the UK might apply to web accessibility. It also considers the effect of the recently passed Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 on the previously excluded area of education.
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2006)
Type: Online portal page
Summary: Brief description of the convention and its passage with links to the full text in many languages.
Signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities United Nations Treaty Collection. 2018
Type: Web site archive
Summary: A list of those countries that have signed on to the UN Convention along with the date that they agreed to abide by and to implement its requirements.
Absence of U.S. Regulation Leads to Web Accessibility Lawsuits. Roggio, A.; Practical Ecommerce (2015).
Type: Opinion piece/editorial
Summary: An article that expresses the authors view that the U.S. Department of Justice sis sending mixed signals about whether or not websites really need to be accessible. The author feels this leads to the rapid increase in litigation seen in the US vs other countries.
List of Web Accessibility-Related Litigation and Settlements. Groves, K. (2017).
Type: Begun in 2011 as curated list, now maintained by the community via GitHub
Summary: The lists consists of a number of lawsuits and settlements which relate directly to web accessibility. Each case is listed with its plaintiff(s), defendant(s), the year in which it occurred, and an URL where you can find more detail.
It’s Illegal to Have an Inaccessible Website in Norway - and That’s Good News for All of Us. Aalen, I.; Confrere/Medium (2018).
Type: Journal article
Summary: An investigation of the law passed in Norway in 2014 that requires websites of even private companies to be accessible. Reports on the law, regulatory mechanisms, and outcomes.
Legal Update Series. Feingold, L.; Law Office of Lainey Feingold (2018).
Type: Blog post
Summary: Structured Negotiation author and pioneer and Disability Rights attorney Lainey Feingold maintains updates on legal actions as well as other related, easy to follow perspectives on digital accessibility. Lots of relevant information throughout the site.
What You Can Learn from Major Accessibility lawsuits. Sauld, S.; 3PlayMedia (2018)
Type: Blog Post
Summary: An overview with lessons learned of recent accessibility lawsuits in the US with examples from retail and higher education. The focus is to help organizations learn from previous accessibility lawsuits that a pro-active accessibility program can not only minimize legal risk, but also help to make the web accessible for all users, including those with disabilities.
Accessibility As Innovation
How Designing For Disabled People Is Giving Google An Edge. Brownlee, J.; Fast Company (2018).
Type: Magazine article
Summary: Author interviews Google’s Eve Andersson, lead engineer on accessibility projects about how accessible design thinking contributes in unanticipated ways to innovative products and services.
People with Disabilities Drive Innovation. Germa, H. (2017)
Type: Blog post
Summary: Haben Girma, the first deaf-blind person to graduate Harvard Law School, explores historical instances of how people with disabilities have innovated basic life tasks. Disability concerns led to invention of telephone, typewriter, email, and many other innovations that have made life better for everyone.
Accessibility Innovation Showcase. IBM Research (2018).
Type: Product Promotion
Summary: While the page itself is mostly a promotional vehicle for IBM products, it is impressive to see the investment they have made in research related to disability and aging.
Apple Eases iTunes Access For The Blind Associated Press, CBS News Online. (2008)
Type: News article
Summary: Apple settles with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office in agreeing to make products more accessible. Apple’s industry leadership position encourages other businesses to work to make the Internet more accessible by realizing the marketing advantage of giving more people a way to buy their products.
Reaping The Benefits Of Diversity For Modern Business Innovation. Walter, E.; Forbes Magazine (2014).
Type: Magazine Article
Summary: The author interviews Neil Lenane, Business Leader of Talent Management at Progressive who is a strong advocate of the value of diversity.Not specifically focused on disability and includes links to related articles and research.
Increase Revenue/Decrease Costs
SEO and Web Accessibility CrossOver. By iAdControl.com. (2018)
Type: Online article
Summary: Compilation of examples and links to other resources produced to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) 2018 by illustrating how SEO and website accessibility are mutually supportive and have common outcomes.
Assessing the Value 0f Accessible Technologies for Organizations. Parks, S. and Sedov V.; Forrester Research, Inc. (2017)
Type:Archived research study commissioned by Microsoft
Summary: Found that adoption of accessible technologies provides tangible economic and social value. Trends are quantified to help organizations understand the wide range of benefits that accrue when they make investments in accessiblity.
Organizational Motivations for Web Accessibility Implementation – A Case Study November 2016, University of Vienna, by Marie-Luise Leitner and Christine Strauss.
Type: Academic study
Summary: Introduces a holistic, managerial approach to identify business experiences with web accessibility implementation in three industry sectors.
Hiring People with Disabilities is Good Business Kennedy, Ted Jr. New York Times. December 27, 2018.
Summary: The editorial expresses Kennedy’s view that when it comes to employment, the US has failed to live up to the promise of the Americans With Disabilities Act and that business is losing valuable human resources as a result. He encourages companies to be more inclusive by highlighting ways that several major companies profit from their proactive employment practices.
Leaving no one behind: UNDP/UNV Talent Programme for Young Professionals with Disabilities.
Summary: The launch of the UNDP-UNV Talent Programme for Young Professionals with Disabilities at UNV headquarters in Bonn, Germany in 2017. The expectation is to reduce poverty and attain the sustainable development goals at the UN by providing a model for successful employment of people with disabilities in professional jobs.
How to Solve the Jobs Mismatch? Slate article, June 2018.
Summary: American businesses claim they can’t find workers, and disabled Americans can’t find jobs. Here’s how tech can help.
Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage Accenture Research Report, (2018)
Type: Research commissioned by Disability:In and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
Summary: Research demonstrates that companies that embrace best practices for employing and supporting more persons with disabilities in their workforce outperform their peers.</p>
The Accessible Workforce IBM 100 Icons of Progress, (2016)
Summary: How IBM successfully managed the return to work of an IBM engineer after injury resulted in disability.
Global Standards and Best Practice
What Does Responsive Design Have To Do With Accessibility?. Avila, J.; Level Access (2013).
Type: Technical Report
Summary: A demonstration of how consideration of accessibility during the design phase enables more responsive, flexible, versatile outcomes that work better across all devices and situations.
Microsoft Adding New Accessibility Improvements in Windows 10. Rego, N.; Cool Blind Tech (2018).
Type: Product review
Summary: Blind review notes Windows 10 integrated accessibility features that make the products easier to use for disabled users and the general public.
Making Bulb Accessible Pickering, Heydon; Bulb.co.uk (2018)
Type: Blog post
Summary: Implementation process description from a renewable energy company in the UK, including the development of code and design pattern libraries that bake-in accessibility from the start.
Richard Branson Supports People With Disabilities – Here Are Six Ways You Can Do It, Too. Gaudiano, P. and Hunt, E.; Forbes.com (2016).
Summary: Forbes reports on the US Department of Labor National Disability Employment Month by listing 6 steps to improve the culture of disability inclusion in companies. The authors advocate that the future demands a new mindset in which diversity and inclusion are explicitly linked to the success of organizations and provide this guide to help companies get started.
Is there a payoff for top team diversity? Barta, Thomas, Markus Kleiner, and Tilo Neumann; McKinsey Quarterly (2018).
Summary: Between 2008 and 2010, companies with more diverse top teams were also top financial performers. The authors believe that is not a coincidence and demonstrate the relationship between diversity and success.
How Abilities of People with Disabilities can Enhance the Workplace. Forbes, November 2016
Summary: A personal anecdote with implications for productive workplaces from the Head of Talent at JPMorgan Chase
Neurodiversity Research Studies. Holland, R. Harvard Business School. (2011-2018)
Type: Interview with authors of Case Study: Autism at Work
Summary: Gary Pisano and Robert Austin. Professor of Business administration “… we do better when we mix people who think differently or are wired a bit differently.” based on studies begun in 2011 and continuing through the present.
What We’re Leaving Out of the Discussion Around Inclusive Design. AIGA Eye on Design (2018).
Summary: Design is much more likely to be the source of exclusion than inclusion. When we design for other people, our own biases and preferences often lead the way. This is especially true with respect to disability.
How Fathering a Son with Disabilities Helped Microsoft’s CEO Transform the Company. Ward, J.; Windows Central (2017).
Type: Blog Post
Summary: How the leadership style of Satya Nadella, influenced by his being a parent of children with disabilities has transformed company culture and improved Microsoft’s relationships with its customers.
The Moment That Forever Changed Our Lives. Nadella, S.; PowerShell Team Blog, LinkedIn, (2017).
Type: Personal account
Summary: Microsoft CEO in his own words.
We Are Original Life Hackers. Jackson, Liz. New York Times,online edition. May, 2018. Type: Editorial Summary: Disability design advocate Liz Jackson makes the case for how and why people with disabilities must be included in design thinking and narratives.
Corporate Social Responsibility/Brand Reputation
Disability as diversity in fortune 100 companies. Ball, P., Monaco, G., Schmeling, J., Schartz, H., and Blanck, P.; Law, Health Policy and Disability Center (2005)
Type: Research Article.
Summary: “To investigate the inclusion of people with disabilities in the diversity policies of the most successful businesses in the United States, we examined the publicly available workforce and supplier diversity policies of the top 100 companies on Fortune Magazine’s 2003 list of the 500 most profitable companies in the nation.”
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). IISD’s Business and Sustainable Development Guide (2013).
Type: Research Article.
Summary: A referenced guide with case studies, examples, and conclusion about how adopting a policy of corporate social responsibility benefits businesses.
Accessibility at Microsoft. Chong, C.; Braille Monitor (2015).
Type: Product review
Summary: A blind reviewer makes clear that the lack of accessibility in company products is at odds with their claims and how it impacts his opinion of the company overall.
Accessibility Culture Feingold, Lainey.; Law Office of Lainey Feingold (May, 2018)
Type: Editorial post
Summary: A bit of background on why culture matters with links to more in-depth articles.
General Statistics/Research Methods/Other Business Case perspectives
Disability Inclusion Overview. The World Bank (2018).
Type: Statistical summary with sources
Summary: Report on the numbers of people through out the world with disabilities who experience barriers to full social and economic inclusion. Barriers include inaccessible physical environments and transportation, the unavailability of assistive devices and technologies, non-adapted means of communication, gaps in service delivery, and discriminatory prejudice and stigma in society.
World Population Chart for Countries and Continents. Disabled World (2017).
Type: Statistical compilation
Summary: Graphic representation of disability statistics throughout the world.
Exploratory Case Study Research on Web Accessibility. Leitner, ML and Christine Strauss
Type: Research study proposal
Summary: Design for research conducted at a later date. Recommended for others who wish to design accessibility studies that produce definitive outcomes.
Accessibility Research Methods with Jonathan Lazar. Horton, S.
Summary: Discussion of how to bring more accessibility research, often carried out in academia, into the practice of people who are designing and building digital products and services.
The Business Case for Accessibility and Inclusive Design. Walker, M.; Digital Leaders (2018).
Summary: The author investigates and considers factors in three core areas. They find and report that businesses can realize Financial Benefits, Brand Benefits, and Legal Benefits by adopting and implementing accessibility policy.
The business case for digital accessibility. Crouch, E; Digital Leaders (2018).
Type: Webinar recording of session with Robin Christopherson MBE and Mark Walker of AbiltyNet Summary: One hour webinar with examples to show how inclusive design can boost revenue, deliver financial savings, improve a brand and reduce legal risks. Demonstrations of how accessible apps and websites can improve the experience for mobile users – whether they have a disability or not.