Digital Accessibility: Industry Insights

digital accessibility industry insights

You are interested in learning about Digital accessibility, but do not know where to start. This blog is for you.

What is Digital Accessibility?

Building digital applications and content that are accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. 

Why does it matter?

1. It’s the Law: About 2398 lawsuits were filed for accessibility alone in 2022

2. It’s great for Business: About 2 billion people worldwide are living with disabilities, accounting to trillions of dollars of purchasing power.

Types of Disabilities

Hearing, Vision, Motor, and Cognitive

Assistive Technology Devices

People with disabilities often use Assistive Technologies to navigate their mobile devices and computers:

1. Screen Readers - This software reads out the content present on the screen

2. Screen Magnifiers - This software/hardware helps zoom the screen

3. Keyboard Only Navigation - This setting allows users to interact the web only through their keyboards, or other input devices (example: single switch buttons)

4. Dictation Software - This software enables users to navigate the web, strictly through voice commands.

Accessibility Testing

How do I know my digital presence is accessible? You need to test for internet accessibility.

There are two ways of testing available:

1. Manual Testing - A certified accessibility tester navigates across your application/website/content using various assistive technologies.

Pros: Absolute. The best way to get a nuanced idea.

Cons: Immensely Time Consuming

2. Automation Testing - Softwares that navigates across your source code to check for accessibility.

Pros: Quick. Most common issues can be identified in seconds.

Cons: Can not detect all the issues.

Accessibility Laws

Depending on your organization’s location and industry, you are subject to either of the following regulations:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - Applies to non-federal websites and applications in the US.

Section 508 - Applies to federal government agencies and contractors in the US.

21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) - Applies to developers to create more inclusive and accessible software and hardware, in the US.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) - Applies to non-federal websites and applications, in Canada.

Accessible Canada Act (ACA) - Applies to federal government agencies and contractors in Canada.

EN 301 549 - Applies to all public sector organizations based out of EU.

Web Accessibility Types

1. Website Code

2. Website Design

3. Website Content - all content be it text, images, audio or video, needs to be accessible

At Wally, we believe that the entire content supply, that is, all the content generated by all people across the company, needs to be accessible.

Web Accessibility Best Practices

Web Page - A hierarchy of headings (H1 to H6) has to be followed.

Tables - Only tabular content should be shown as tables, strictly not for design purposes.

Images - Each image should have an Alt Text of 120 words.

Text - Use easy to understand sentences in short paragraphs.

Links - The link should clearly explain to the user where it leads.

How accessibility helps your organization

1. Untapped Audience - In the US, people with disabilities represent over 700 Billion dollars of disposable income. Yet, they are untapped!

2. Inclusive Brand - By making your brand accessible, you showcase your commitment to inclusivity.

3. SEO Friendly - Incorporating various accessibility techniques, directly increases your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

4. For Everybody - Accessibilities features not only help people with disabilities, but everyone. As it increases usability.

How can my organization become accessible?

Get a free accessibility audit from Wally using our Free Trial.

Here, we point out areas of improvement based on severity. We also offer the option to auto-fix most of the issues. You can also track the accessibility improvement of your digital presence regularly, across audits, over time.

Wally is simply better than others in the market -