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Accessible Documents - Why It Is Important for Businesses to Stay Prepared

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Post Accessible Documents - Why It Is Important for Businesses to Stay Prepared   Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:00 am

Every business wants to maximize the number of customers it reaches. Whether distributing materials to potential, new or existing customers, remember to take a proactive stance on accessibility. It is vital to ensure that all your customers have access to all your documents, whether informational brochures, order forms, contracts or any other print material. Not only will accessibility help you retain customers, but it will also give your company a competitive advantage over those with less accessible information. Through the use of documents transcribed in Braille and a Braille-friendly website, any company can easily provide accessible documents to potential, current and future customers. Maintaining document accessibility is important for several reasons.

First and foremost, providing accessible documents is simply fair. Like anyone else, blind or partially-sighted individuals have a right to access information. This right is reinforced by the United Nations in article 21, where the right to information is identified; countries around the world should seek to stay in compliance with this internationally-recognized and supported business practice. When you comply, you are also winning customers. Any potential customer uses the information they can access about a company to make informed decisions. If your company information is not accessible, it is likely that a potential customer would search for a company with accessible information.

Providing accessible documents is an all-around good business practice. In today's world, people live much longer, increasing the likelihood of health problems that cause blindness or sight restrictions. Staying in tune with changing demographics by maintaining accessible documents positions a company to remain relevant and available to a wide customer base. Using Braille, large-print or audio files on websites and in documents can ultimately affect both your bottom line and the image you project to your potential and current customers.

Since accessibility is relatively easy and inexpensive, it can give your company a favorable return on investment. Generally, creating documents in Braille and other accessible formats is neither more complicated nor more expensive than doing so in traditional formats. There is some initial expense in making a shift to accessibility; for example, costs might include hiring professional services to transform documents or to re-train existing employees, or creating an internal process that creates knowledgeable staff who support the maintenance of accessible documents. To maximize effectiveness when you use Braille documents, an experienced provider of Braille transcription services is the best course for ensuring information is correctly relayed to customers. Ultimately, however, the profitability potential far outweighs the cost.

Offering accessible documents and websites not only increases the number of customers a business can reach, but it can also provide additional benefits that reach beyond those individuals that are partially-sighted or blind. Ensuring all printed company material is accessible creates materials that are easier to update or to convert into other file formats, allowing important documents to flow though more distribution channels. Braille-friendly websites which support specially-designed software greatly increase the number of customers a business can reach, but they also regularly receive a higher rank in search engine results, thus making your company easier to find online in general. For these reasons and many more, any company should maintain accessible documents to maximize profitability and support growing, diverse customer markets.

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