Digital Accessibility: Perceptions, Expectations and Reality

As A Life Worth Living is beginning to return to active blogging, our team had this document brought to our attention. The focus of the rest of 2020 and into 2021 will be very active in the realm of digital accessibility and website usability with a drive toward design being “better than compliance”. It is important for businesses to make this realization, as there is a bottom line impact should this level of accessibility not get the focus it requires.

The document Web Key IT – Unlocking the Web is in pdf format.  Below is the quoted executive summary:

The aspect of equal access to the Web has always been a critical driving factor in the development of this digital medium. Indeed, it was Sir Tim Berners-Lee who stated “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” (World Wide Web Consortium: Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C WAI) 2019)

The goal of this research was to determine if there is a disparity between the perceptions organisations have regarding the accessibility of their digital products and the experience of the user.

The standards for digital accessibility are well-defined and embedded in processes and legislature in most countries. Universal access is considered an essential aspect, as stated by Sir Tim Berners Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web. Why then, do we continue observe a low rate of adoption of the digital accessibility principles?

In this paper, the authors survey both organisations and users to determine the disparity mentioned above, and to add to that a discussion which will inform owners of digital products how best to remedy the situation and create a more meaningful user experience, while demonstrating the business benefits of improving digital accessibility for the website owner.