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Chapter Fourteen. Accessibility Basics > Myth: Accessibility Costs Too Much

Myth: Accessibility Costs Too Much

Not true. What is the cost of creating a Skip Navigation link or of writing a table summary, as described in Chapter 8? What is the cost of typing a brief alt text for each image on your page? Such tasks can be accomplished in minutes. You might charge by the hour, but unless you charge millions per hour, the cost of adding most access features required by WAI Priority 1 or U.S. Section 508 is negligible—especially if so doing protects you from antidiscrimination lawsuits. And those can cost plenty.

Higher-level conformance entailing specialized work will, of course, cost more than these simple tasks. For instance, it costs significantly more to author closed captions for Real or QuickTime videos or to caption live streaming media news feeds in real time. But few sites deliver the kind of content that requires such specialized work. As we said at this chapter's outset, access is a continuum; complying with its basic guidelines costs next to nothing.


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