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Website Accessibility: Itís a SNAP!

If you want information about a topic, where do you go? These days, the answer is likely "online." Every minute of every day, millions of people across the globe turn to the Internet for quick access to information. Without a doubt, the way we seek information has fundamentally shifted in recent years.

As a result, so has the way we do business. In fact, for many small businesses, online systems provide the foundation for commercial operations, allowing them to compete and succeed nationally, or even internationally, on a level unimaginable not long ago.

But, whether they realize it or not, many of these enterprises are not accessible to one segment of the population — people with disabilities. Just as businesses are no longer limited to brick and mortar, accessibility today encompasses more than architectural features. If a company's website is not accessible, it's essentially closed to people with certain types of disabilities, such as visual and cognitive impairments.

Now, improving website accessibility is a SNAP! The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) recently released tips for designing accessible websites as well as an easy-to-use self-assessment tool, called SNAP! Together, these resources can help business owners and website designers and managers understand barriers to online accessibility and work through the most common issues.

A service of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), JAN is the leading source of free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. It offers assistance via phone at (800) 526-7234 or (877) 781-9403 (TTY) or online at AskJAN.org.

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