Resources - Initiative: Cost-Benefit Model for Accessibility Projects

A free spreadsheet built to model and analyze the costs vs. benefits of a website accessibility project


The accessibility community has quite a few cost-benefit research projects, but the analysis and results typically speak to a nationwide model, that is, the common and valid argument to embrace accessibility on a large scale. Missing is a data-driven model to explore the cost-benefit tradeoffs of a specific website accessibility project.

This is the collaborative initiative to answer that need with a spreadsheet model free to use without strings.

Example Quantitative Benefits spreadsheet screenshot

Target Users

Accessibility litigation is often stalled in negotiations where the defendant claims undue burden. Compartmentalizing each claim is the first step to synchronizing the view of both parties. An impartial, factual model provides a framework to negotiate such components with the summary cost-benefit statements guiding to objective reality-based decisions.

An accessibility advocate often confronts risk-averse managers unconvinced by calls to take the moral high ground. If a cost-benefit model inputs factual dollars to make the case for accessibility, the advocate has transitioned to speaking management's language.

Organizations receiving a judicial complaint from the DoJ or the Office of Civil Rights are often blindsided without a clear understanding of the scope of their problem. Human nature exaggerates the threat of the unknown, but breaking remediation into realistic components often reduces it to a manageable project. With the benefits of remediation also clearly identified in dollars, anxiety may even morph into a profitable outcome.


Any worthwhile financial model is a dynamic representation of the world, adapting to changes, presenting different views, adding features to address particular cases, and splitting off specialized versions. This is where the Cost-Benefit Model for Accessibility Projects will evolve to those needs as an open, collaborative initiative, a free resource to the accessibility community.

Symbol of disability cooperation

You are invited to participate with suggestions for improvement and/or the development of the model into its potential, including specialized versions. Simply contact Access2online's Coordinator. Keep in mind that we are unlikely to pay you nor will we be party to some fee-based version of this model nor even to force users to attribute your contribution. We are happy to list significant contributors on the contributors list.

This spreadsheet is Copyright © 2018 to Access2online, but all users are granted a perpetual, royalty-free license to copy and modify this spreadsheet in any way they wish, including its use for commercial purposes, without fee or attribution.

Everyone is invited to download whichever version of the spreadsheet they wish by clicking a link below.


Requirements: Microsoft Excel 2013 or later. Note that we have made no claim of merchantability or quality in our model. You download it as-is without any warranty.

Cost-Benefit Model for Accessibility Projects


  • Alicia B.
  • Juliette M.
  • Peter Shikli

Questions & Answers

  • If this is free to use, why did you copyright it?

    So you can't copyright it.

  • Will this model support the need for website accessibility?

    More often than not, but as a reliable model, the results depend on your input values. For example, if you input high accessibility costs, very few disabled website visitors, and a low probability of enforcement, this model will support inaccessibility. It will not protect you from unrealistic input values.