Accessible Agency: Selling Accessibility as an Ongoing Service

19 Apr 2023

Web accessibility work is often sold as one-time project work, performed at the end of a website build, when it should be an engagement throughout a website buildout and beyond as a client’s website grows and standards change.

Waiting to address accessibility until the end of website project is like building a commercial building and addressing accessibility after the fact. Sometimes it’s a necessity, but it shouldn’t be the plan. Anyone who’s seen an accessible website produced or remediated, knows web accessibility needs to be part of the conversation from the very beginning, but what about after?

Unlike a building, you aren’t required to get a building permit when it’s time to make a change. A client can drink too much coffee one day and drastically change a website in the span of moments without anyone noticing. That’s why ongoing accessibility monitoring, consulting and maintenance are crucial

Ongoing Accessibility Monitoring

We built RAMP to help agencies ensure that client websites remain accessible as they are updated by regularly scanning them in their entirety. With regular updates and changes to websites, it’s easy for accessibility issues to arise without even realizing it. Software like RAMP allows agencies to detect accessibility issues and errors as they arise so agencies can intervene with training and fixes before they are repeated. This approach not only helps maintain accessibility, but it also saves time and resources in the long run by catching issues early on and preventing larger remediation efforts down the line.

Ongoing Consulting and Maintenance

Every business wants their website to be accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. However, accessibility is not a one-time fix, it is an ongoing process that requires monitoring and updating to keep up with changes in technology and the needs of users. By paying for ongoing web accessibility consulting services, clients can ensure that their website stays compliant with accessibility guidelines, reduce the risk of legal action, and provide an inclusive user experience for all users.

Plus, accessibility consulting services offer clients valuable expertise and guidance on accessibility best practices, including how to weave accessibility into their website design and development process, and how to create accessible content. The expertise of accessibility consultants can help clients improve their website’s accessibility, user experience, and search engine optimization, leading to increased engagement and better overall results. It’s something that goes beyond a typical website hosting and maintenance agreement, but crucial for any kind of website that is actively updated.

If you don’t have an accessibility specialist, we can help either with outsourced expertise or getting someone or a team at your agency trained up.

Better for Everyone Involved

Presenting and executing web accessibility with your client as an ongoing process instead of final destination will not only save your client money in the long run, while having a more accessible site more of the time, it’s better for your relationship with them as an agency. It’s true no one likes to pay for yet another marketing services retainer, but they like lawsuits, large invoices to remediate their website, and upset customers even less. If you go to a heart doctor, you don’t want them to not mention an artery blockage because they are worried you won’t want to pay for the Lipitor.