Short sighted? Does your website unknowingly ignore key decision makers?

“Why not just create a second version of a website to accommodate people with disabilities?”
“Why would an auto manufacturer need an accessible website? ┬áPeople with vision impairments don’t drive after-all.”

These are questions that came from an audience member attending a session about website accessibility.

Is that type of thinking short sighted? Sure, someone with a vision impairment may not be the person behind the wheel of the car, but they could very well be a passenger. And if that passenger is the spouse or partner of the driver, I’m certain he or she has some say in the purchasing decision around a new family vehicle. If that partner is excluded from the buying process because the manufacturer’s website isn’t accessible, do you think they might be persuaded to buy from another company that takes a more inclusive approach? Of course!

Consider another example. A family is planning a celebration dinner at a restaurant. The whole family is going to be there – kids, parents, grand-parents, cousins. One member of this extended family is confined to a wheelchair. Which restaurant do you think they’re going to eat at? The one that is able to accommodate that family member or the one that doesn’t? Of course the restaurant that’s accessible to the whole family is going to be the winner even though that person isn’t making the reservation.

So before your business dismisses a growing segment of the marketplace (aging baby boomers and their parents), ensure you don’t ignore the real decision maker or influencer in a purchase. Throwing that money away may be short sighted … and costly.