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Selling Accessibility

As accessibility awareness percolates through the business community, your customers may need your help in understanding how your commitment to accessible design is an advantage to them and to their customers as well. A discussion with a group of Web developers at the University of Texas at Austin revealed that many of them are committed to Internet accessibility, despite initial skepticism when first exposed to the idea of incorporating design techniques to accommodate the needs of users with disabilities. The reasons they cited for why they eventually bought into the idea of accessibility provide us with useful insights as we make the case for accessibility within our communities and to business and educational organizations.

In some cases, the developers had a close friend or relative with a disability or had observed someone with a disability trying to use the Internet. Several cited a workshop or accessibility training that had given them a broader perspective, such as the trainings we offer as part of the AIR activities mentioned in Chapter 4 and as continuing education classes (called Accessibility 101) on the University of Texas campus. Some developers worked for employers actively committed to inclusion, who promoted internal policies in support of that commitment.


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