Web Accessibility as a CSR Superpower

Web accessibility is not just another technical checkbox but a vital aspect of corporate social responsibility (CSR). At the core of accessibility is inclusivity. It’s about ensuring websites are accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. Accessibility not only reflects a company’s commitment to ethical practices, social inclusivity and equal opportunities for all, it also makes good business sense.

The spending power of disabled people and their families in the UK is estimated at £274 billion annually. By making websites accessible, businesses can tap into this significant market segment, increasing their customer base and potential revenue[1].
The real benefits of empowering all users

Web accessibility ensures that digital content is usable by everyone, regardless of their abilities. This includes people with visual, auditory, cognitive, and motor impairments.

An accessible website aligns with a core CSR principle of treating all stakeholders ethically and equitably [2][3]. It allows everyone to participate in a digital society so that all individuals can access information and services online.

Companies that prioritise accessibility are often seen as more socially responsible and ethical. This can enhance their reputation, build trust with consumers, and attract socially conscious investors[2][4].
The Business Case for Web Accessibility

Beyond the ethical and social imperatives, there are compelling business reasons to invest in web accessibility.

Tesco is an example of a UK company that successfully integrated web accessibility into its CSR initiatives. In 2001, Tesco collaborated with RNIB to make its online grocery service accessible to blind customers. That action saw an increase in revenue of over £13 million per annum. The success of this initiative was later integrated into their main website. [5]

When brands adopt an accessible strategy they influence decisions about where to shop, who to bank with, and so much more that build brand advocacy. Because of this people with disabilities are more likely to be loyal customers, as the risk and potential impact of leaving a brand and joining an inaccessible service provider is high. It’s about creating a loyal customer base that continues to recommend and give feedback on ways to improve your service continuously.

Legal compliance is also a key consideration. There are a number of legal frameworks and regulatory bodies in the UK, such as the Equality Act of 2010 which requires service providers, including website owners, to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure their services are accessible to people with disabilities.

UK-based companies have yet to face any legal challenges to date but over in the US, there were 1,554 lawsuits filed in the first half of 2023 alone which was a 20% increase compared to the same period in 2022. UK businesses may soon face similar legal action, which can be costly and damaging to their reputation. [6]

“Many organisations are waking up to the fact that embracing accessibility leads to multiple benefits – reducing legal risks, strengthening brand presence, improving customer experience and colleague productivity.”
– Paul Smyth, Head of Digital Accessibility, Barclays

Practical Steps to Achieve Web Accessibility

Achieving web accessibility involves adhering to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which provide a comprehensive framework for making web content more accessible. Key steps include:

1. Conducting Accessibility Audits: Regularly evaluate your website to identify and address accessibility issues.
2. Implementing Accessible Design Practices: Use clear and consistent navigation, provide text alternatives for non-text content, and ensure that all functionalities are accessible via keyboard.
3. Training and Awareness: Educate your team about the importance of accessibility and how to implement best practices.
4. Leveraging Technology: Utilise AI-powered tools and solutions that can help automate and streamline the process of making websites accessible.


Web accessibility is not as daunting as it sounds. By implementing a few accessible web design best practices, companies can promote inclusivity, enhance their public image, and achieve significant business benefits.

Ensuring that everyone has equal access to online services and resources is not just a legal obligation but a moral imperative.

If you’d like to find out more or get an accessibility audit completed for your business please visit my website at https://www.andremurrell.co.uk/accessibility-audit

[1] https://www.thedrum.com/open-mic/agencies-web-accessibility-corporate-social-responsibility-in-the-time-of-gen-z
[2] https://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/bcase/soc-new.html
[3] https://www.w3.org/WAI/business-case/archive/soc
[4] https://www.junekarlove.com/insights/web-accessibility-enhancing-esg-score
[5] https://www.sean.co.uk/a/webdesign/accessibility.shtm
[6] https://reciteme.com/news/web-accessibility-legislation-uk/