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Chapter 6. The Business Case for Accessibility > Accessibility Is Good Business

Accessibility Is Good Business

The Internet has become a central business tool and, despite the excesses and recent gloomy reports from the dot-com sector, its use continues to grow. As online business models mature, smart businesses are realizing that the prosperous baby-boomer generation is aging and that, like every other generation before them, they have an increased likelihood of experiencing disability. When these numbers are added to the numbers of children born with disabilities and people who acquire a disability as the result of an injury or disease, they reflect a large and growing market. Accommodation for the needs of this substantial population is therefore a good business strategy as well as a civil rights issue. The facts are given below.

  • More than one in five people experience a long-term disabling condition at some point in their lifetime [LaPlante and Carlson 1996].

  • These numbers are increasing as the population ages [Desai et al. 2001].

  • More than 750 million people worldwide have a disability, including more than 55 million Americans [McNeil 2001].

  • In the United States, the percentage of those who are self-employed is 12 percent higher among people with disabilities [Singer 2000].

  • The aggregate income in the United States of people with disabilities exceeds $1 trillion [Gingold 2001].


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