Gift of Access: Digital accessibility for people with a disability

A young woman is lying propped up in bed with a cup of tea and looking at her laptop screen. The article is about digital accessibility for people with a disability.

A young woman is lying propped up in bed with a cup of tea and looking at her laptop screen. The article is about digital accessibility for people with a disability.

 

People with a disability are over 50% more likely to face barriers to accessing digital and online services than non-disabled people. We should all be striving for digital accessibility for people with a disability and removing as many of these barriers as possible.

In our digitally-driven society, online content and products are integral to our lives. We rely on digital platforms as a primary source of information, to conduct daily tasks like banking, to socialise and so much more.

Why should I make my digital content/product accessible?

Not only is digital accessibility a legal and moral responsibility, but it also makes good business sense.

  • The Purple Pound (spending power of disabled consumers) is worth an estimated £274 billion [GOV UK] and a growing market.
  • 75% of consumers from a disabled household say they have walked away from a business due to poor accessibility and customer service. [We are purple]
  • Demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity and accessibility can positively impact your brand’s reputation, fostering customer loyalty.
  • Higher sales and conversion rates when your platform or product is easy to use and navigate for everyone.
  • Many accessibility features, such as descriptive alt text for images, can also improve search engine optimization (SEO), potentially boosting website visibility.

How can I take steps towards being more accessible?

Making digital content truly accessible is undeniably a complex process but today we share some tips and resources that you can use to start your journey to becoming more accessible:

  • Audit: Conduct a comprehensive audit to assess current accessibility levels, identifying areas that need improvement.
  • Alt text and image descriptions: Ensure all images have descriptive alt text, aiding users who rely on screen readers to understand visual content.
  • Colour contrast and fonts: Use sufficient colour contrast and clear fonts for easy readability, accommodating users with visual impairments.
  • Video and audio accessibility: Provide captions for videos and transcripts for audio content to assist users with hearing impairments.
  • Language: Ensure that inclusive language is used on all content.
  • Training: Train web developers, designers, and content creators on accessibility standards and best practices.
  • Testing & feedback: test your content with a screen reader, as well as inviting and actioning constructive feedback from disabled individuals on an ongoing basis.
  • Research and education: Keep up to date with the best practices and use the resources below to delve deeper into your own research.

Helpful resources:

Gift of Access: Digital Accessibility

In a compelling live discussion, we explored just some of the many facets of digital accessibility with insights from:

Some of the topics touched upon when discussing digital accessibility for people with a disability:

  • Our panellists draw inspiration from personal experiences, whether their own or those of those close to them, fueling their commitment to advancing digital accessibility.
  • The impact of banking branch closures and the importance of making digital banking accessible for all.
  • How your digital presence must be as effective as the customer journey in a physical shop or talking face to face.
  • The importance of co-creating with the disabled community and how it can benefit everyone.
  • A one-dimensional approach does not work for accessibility because people have diverse and multiple disabilities that must be taken into account.
  • The importance of considering accessibility at the beginning of the life cycle rather than being bolted on later.

Watch the full discussion below:

YouTube player

 

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