Jenny Woldt on the Importance of Making Websites Accessible

Jenny Woldt, Founder & President of Splash Box Marketing, was interviewed by host Adam Torres on the Mission Matters Marketing Podcast.

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In a recent interview with Adam Torres, Jenny Woldt discusses how Splash Box Marketing is making the web more accessible for the hard of sight community by partnering with clients on ADA Compliance and 508 Remediation reviews and more.

What mission matters to you?

Woldt says Splash Box focuses on helping its clients meet 508 Remediation guidelines and ensuring their websites are ADA Compliant. They want to provide the hard-of-sight community with the same level of access to digital content as anyone else. Splash Box team also provides exceptional creative design to meet clients’ needs and help them expand their market base by communicating effectively with all of their customers.

How did you become an entrepreneur?

Woldt founded Splash Box in 2006 after being a stay-at-home mom for 12 years. “I suddenly found myself a single mom of three and had to jump back into the workforce,” she says, and poured her previous career experience into launching a creative ad agency. 

In 2012, one of Woldt’s clients was fined by a regulatory agency for not having an ADA Compliant website. To help them bring their site into compliance, the team researched the subject and realized the importance of including ADA Compliance and 508 Remediation reviews in their offerings. “After getting training and certification, we officially included it in our service,” she explains. Woldt has since grown Splash Box, now valued at $7 million, from just herself to 12 employees.

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The significance of ADA Compliance and 508 Remediation

About 90 million Americans are affected by some kind of visual impairment, Woldt notes. Along with making them a part of the digital world, ADA Compliance and 508 Remediation opens up businesses to more clients and customers. 

When asked what ADA Compliance and 508 Remediation means, Woldt explains that it involves sending documents and websites through a series of procedures to make them more accessible to the hard of sight community. This can include adjusting the reading order of the text to make it more logical, adding alternate text to images to help create a picture with words, and providing bookmarks so that a person can navigate pages with ease. Designers can also strike just the right colors and contrast levels as well, helping to ensure that a person with limited vision can gain as much from a website as a sighted person can. 

The benefits of these methods, she notes, is universal. 

“The best part about it,” Woldt says, “is that an accessible document is also beneficial for a sighted person. Be it the navigation or the additional text with the image, they make a document easier to read and navigate.” 

She also mentions that ADA compliance is essential for organizations of every size and scope. “Whether you are a small-scale company or a big-shot government entity, everyone is affected,” she explains. “Two-thirds of the (compliance) lawsuits last year alone were for companies that have an annual turnover of less than 50 million.”

Tell us more about Splash Box Marketing.

Splash Box Marketing serves clients across a broad range of industries, from healthcare and finance to government institutions. The team has also been working with the National Park System for the past seven years. 

“We have a three-part process for HTML reviews,” Woldt says. “Since most firms don’t want to send the control of their website (elsewhere), we dive into their website and provide them with a framework. We use tools to audit all the pages of their website and provide suggestions that will make the platform more accessible.”

A piece of Advice for Business Owners

Woldt suggests business owners start thinking about website accessibility from the ground up, considering it to be an essential facet of their online presence. As for tools she recommends to measure and achieve greater website accessibility, she says there’s a wealth of information available on the topic, but to start, she specifically advises, “Adobe and Microsoft are highly focused on accessibility. Use their products.” 

What’s next for you and Splash Box?

Splash Box is constantly researching and trying to find the most cost-effective approaches for its clients to meet the ADA Compliance and 508 Remediation needs, Woldt says, and notes that they’re consistently finding new ways to streamline their services. Facilitating conversations and educating people on the importance of accessibility, she says, also remains a high priority.

To learn more, visit www.splashbox.com.