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Is your website accessible to consumers with disabilities? If not, you might be missing out on a valuable audience.

This story appears in the March 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Handicapped access has changed the way brick-and-mortar retailers design their stores. Now it's e-tailers' turn. Changing market conditions and regulations are driving the internet's transformation into a friendlier environment for the disabled.

America's estimated 54 million disabled persons are already a significant and growing market, says the National Organization on Disability--and they're turning to the net to shop. Jay Leventhal, editor of AccessWorld, an online magazine published by the American Foundation for the Blind, says that when his publication first started in 2000, it wasn't practical because few blind people had web access. "But there are a lot more now," he says.

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