You're talking to your client, and you present them with two quotes. One for a standard website, and another for an accessible website. The client looks at the difference in costs, and asks for the standard website. What do you do?
One of the most difficult aspects of making professional websites is getting clients to pay for accessibility. In the world of business, issues such as accessibility are usually low down on the agenda, and it's difficult to convince clients that they should stretch their budget to pay that little extra for an accessible website. Legislation has helped, but there are still companies out there that just don't get it. This article discusses ways of ensuring that your clients are prepared to pay that little extra. You've learnt your craft; it's now time to reap the rewards.
Author: Gez Lemon
There's a good chance that you're shocked to the core: disgusted, barely able to refrain from sending me an email (or making a comment), informing me that I'm an ignorant, parasitical, despicable scumbag. After all, why should your clients pay extra for accessibility? What will you do if they don't pay that extra? Add accessibility barriers?
Accessibility isn't something you sell as an alternative; building accessible websites is what separates you from those incapable of doing their job correctly. Anything else is immoral. It's what gives you a competitive advantage over your competitors. It lets your clients know that they are dealing with a professional company that will ensure their website is not only attractively promoting their corporate image, but is usable by the widest possible audience. Who wants a shop in the back street of some dingy town? Your clients want you to do what's right by them, not be scared off thinking that accessibility is some magical ingredient that's too expensive to implement.
People who try to sell accessibility as a more expensive option will typically argue one of the following points:
- Accessibility Requires Constant Testing
- I would have concerns about the methods used for testing, but that's a different issue. If you requested quotes from your local builders for an extension on your house, and you received two quotes from one of the builders: one where they ensured the walls were straight by using a spirit level, and another for a quick and dirty couple of walls, would you seriously consider the second option? Would you seriously consider using that builder? I would expect a professional to do a professional job, and not charge me extra to do their job correctly.
- Accessibility requires extra work
- In most cases, that extra work merely requires the designers and developers to be capable of doing their jobs properly, with hardly any consideration for accessibility. Most accessibility issues are the result of talentless designers showcasing their creative skills, talentless programmers showcasing their scripting skills, or talentless people showcasing their complete lack of talent. Occasionally, there may be situations where descriptive alternatives are required to describe complicated objects. It's somewhat easier than rocket science. It's somewhat easier than Occams's Razor science.
- Accessibility requires staff training
- See above.
- I'm a scumbag
- There's no arguing with them this time; they've got a point.