047: Is Your Business Accessible Online?

With Erin Perkins

It might be something you accidentally overlooked; web accessibility. If you’re a small business owner and you don’t even know what web accessibility actually means, well, sadly you are not alone.

You might’ve heard the term accessibility and given some consideration to your physical spaces, but have you considered ensuring that your web content can be consumed by all people? 

Web accessibility is one of the most important issues facing online businesses today but somehow it remains surprisingly unnoticed for many businesses, particularly small to medium sized businesses. Because of this, many business owners don’t fully understand what the term actually means.

Web accessibility doesn’t mean ensuring that everyone has access to the Internet (though that’s an important issue, too). Web accessibility refers to ensuring that all online content can be readily consumed by all people, including people with disabilities.

Physically or brick and mortar businesses generally command a decent understanding of how their particular Disabilities Act affects their day to day business operations but online companies have some catching up to do because the needs of those with disabilities are often neglected.

However, times are changing and online businesses have a greater responsibility than ever to prioritize their website accessibility and that’s why today’s guest Erin Perkins is here to help you discover if your business is accessible, and to get you started with what you need to be doing if this is something that you haven’t given much thought to yet in your business. 

I am particularly excited about today’s episode because it is where my two worlds finally converge – my background as an occupational therapist and my current online business educator status. Today’s goal is to ensure that your business is set up to be accessible to all walks of life so that everyone can enjoy becoming your customer. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.

In this episode, Erin talks about:

  • Erin’s journey to becoming a passionate educator on accessibility. 4:03
  • Tips to getting started with making your online business more accessible TODAY. 6:49
  • What transcription resources are available to help you transcribe audio or visual media. 9:03
  • Common mistakes and barriers that people run into when trying to make their online business more accessible. 13:49
  • The resources that she offers to her clients to help them along their accessibility journey. 18:02
  • The time and resourced needed to ensure your business is up to date on the latest practices (it is less than you think!). 20:05
  • What it looks like to ensure your podcast is accessible. 22:18
  • Making your website accessible (pay attention to alt images!). 24:52
  • How to let your audience know that you are committed to doing the best you can with the resources you have to ensure your materials are accessible online. 29:07
  • More tips to make sure your website is accessible! 31:05
  • Who is already doing this well and what can be learned from them. 32:17

Pay attention to your social media because, more than likely, people find you through social media first more than your website. If you’re doing regular videos, make sure your video are captioned. Camel cap your hashtags (use a capital letter for each word).

Erin Perkins

I loved chatting with Erin. She is a wealth of knowledge and provides so much insight into how far behind the online world is with being accessible to all. We all need to do our part because, much like the physical world, the Internet is an essential part of our day to day function. As such, businesses have a responsibility to ensure that all potential consumers can access their content.

And by the way, making sure that you comply with web accessibility standards won’t just help you avoid lawsuits, it’ll leave you much better equipped for long-term success in the growing digital world. So please don’t walk away from this episode and ignore it.

For more on today’s episodes including Erin’s free roadmap, how to get in touch with her, and a transcription of this podcast, please visit the shownotes at kellylawson.ca/047. I am looking forward to seeing your online assets become more accessible to all people and until next week, keep on dreaming big and slaying your goals.

Resources and Businesses Mentioned in the episode:

Of course, there is Erin’s Accessibility Made Easy course that you NEED to check out, and it only costs $147!

Otter.ai is a great transcription service and free up to 600 minutes!

We talked a lot about alt images and alt text and here is a good article to learn more about that.

We mentioned a couple of businesses doing a good job with their accessibility: Maggie Germano, Wealth Over Now, and the PR Bar. Check them out!

If you have a Squarespace website, you may want to check out Square ADA who can help ensure your website is accessible.

Connect with Erin






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Click here for the transcribed version of this podcast.