ANN ARBOR — The Ann Arbor Internet marketing company Pure Visibility Thursday announced a partnership agreement with Deque Systems, a Reston, Va.-based firm that automates Web accessibility compliance. Together, the two companies will work with clients to improve the accessibility and visibility of Web sites.

“The SEO benefits when addressing website accessibility are tremendous opportunities for Pure Visibility’s clients,” said Catherine Juon, Pure Visibility co-founder. “Not only is website accessibility smart SEO, it’s smart business. By removing as many barriers to interaction with a website as possible, businesses benefit by increased visitor engagement. In addition to SEO benefits, Web accessibility protects businesses. Not only is it increasingly mandated by law, but lawsuits are initiated on a regular basis by individuals and advocacy groups when companies do not make information or services available to all users. Working with Pure Visibility and Deque to develop an accessible website lowers a company’s exposure to these potential lawsuits.”

Web accessibility is an area of website development and design rooted in the Americans with Disabilities Act. More recently, the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 broadened the ADA to include Internet Protocol-based communication and video programming and producers of online video content. Any company that employs more than fifteen people is legally required comply with accessibility laws related to web-based hiring, recruitment, or training, under Title I of the ADA.

Accessible Web sites are those free of barriers for people with disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities. The impact of disability has radically changed on the web because it removes barriers to communication and interaction that many people face in the physical world. Yet poorly designed Web sites or Web technologies can create barriers, excluding people from using the Web.

“Web accessibility and SEO go hand-in-hand,” said Preety Kumar, CEO, Deque. “Integrating both into a website strategy helps a business better connect with site visitors and improve the overall functionality of the site.”

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