One of the arguments frequently made about why businesses should take accessibility seriously is that by failing to address accessibility significant money is left on the table. Time and again the basic argument goes something like the following:
There is this sizable untapped market of people with disabilities just waiting to spend money. If you make your web site comply with accessibility standard X, you too can tap this market and get part of the money just waiting to flow through your newly-made-accessible web site.
In the United Kingdom, 75 per cent of the companies of the FTSE 100 Index on the London Stock Exchange do not meet basic levels of web accessibility, thus missing out on more than $147 million in revenue.
Make no mistake, I’m all for accessibility ffor many reasons. That said, I’d love to see these claims about how much money is being left on the table be supported with more factual economic impact data. Consider this blog posting more of a question to the vast online community. Have people found quality economic studies to back these claims up? I’d love to see a business example that shows where company X invested a certain dollar amount in improving accessibility and saw Y return on that spending.