SEW Live – Accessibility Good For Profits, Karma

    May 9, 2007

The Web is the future, and the Web should be everybody’s future, regardless of age or disability.  This was, in part, the message of James Golden, who spoke this afternoon at the SEW Live event in Ohio.

Golden works for the Karcher Group as Vice President of Development.  He is, according to his company bio, known around the office as a “pretty boy,” and he loves cheesecake.  But today, Golden set aside any grooming products and dropped his fork for the sake of Web standards and accessibility issues in SEO.

He first promoted the Web Standards Project, better known as WaSP.  This “grassroots coalition” works towards establishing “standards which ensure simple, affordable access to web technologies for all.”  Golden then added that, when embracing standards, people should think about semantic data – putting meaningful content into tags.

And the speaker wanted the audience to know that, if you think embracing these ideals would take too much time or energy, this is all important no matter how strictly business-oriented you are.  According to a statistic that Golden shared, 70 million people will be able to use your site in the soon-to-come year of 2010 if you cater to those with disabilities.

Creating and obeying Web standards will, to cut to the chase, increase everyone’s opportunity for profit.  Golden pointed out that those baby boomers aren’t getting any younger, and that Web standards will also allow pages to load faster, content to be multi-purposed, and sites to age gracefully.

But, hey, supporting Web standards would be just plain nice of you, as well.  Golden believes that there is a social responsibility to increase Web accessibility.