The Diversity Management Value Of Accessibility

What Is Your Company Accessibility Statement?

Diversity management must recognize employee differences for innovation, collaboration and success, and link diversity to business objectives and ensuring the company values each individual’s contribution as integral to the company bottom line. Having an inclusive environment really demands an engagement process that starts at the top, and extends throughout the corporation to each and every employee and stakeholder in the enterprise. Note, it is not only important to communicate your organization accessibility strategy internally, but also externally to your customers and partners. Accessibility statements inform users about the accessibility of your website, mobile application, and other digital content. They demonstrate your commitment to accessibility, and to the inclusion of people with disabilities. They can be as simple as briefly outlining that commitment and providing information on how users can get help, should they encounter difficulty in using your content.
See the W3C guide on Developing an Accessibility Statement.

What Is Your Company Diversity Management Policy?

As this trend sweeps through workplaces around the globe, HR leaders and executives alike have been turning their attention and focus towards the Employee Experience. The challenge of the corporate enterprise of the future is to find a sustainable balance between the measurable growth and quality of life. A Diversity Maturity Model (DMM) strategy will track progress in building a more inclusive environment. It measures employee perceptions, business processes and the organizational climate. The DMM will provide a common language, cohesive approach and uniform process to establish a roadmap for progressing as an inclusive enterprise.

Key Success Factors

technologies have transformed how business operates, how people manage their purchasing and finances, find and carry out jobs, access public services and participate in communities, and how they experience learning, culture, leisure, social networking and entertainment. However, digital inclusion demands that everyone has the potential to be engaged with the economy and society. Investing in accessible and usable technology products and services, workplace environments and facilities opens up new markets, increases productivity and liberates talent, and enables innovation. There is a substantial risk to any organisation which knowingly ignores the law. There is a requirement for you to anticipate access needs of disabled individuals and adapt for their access needs. the reality is that all organisations need to understand both the cost of doing business and the benefits that follow. Diversity and inclusion is an investment decision from a financial, legal and ethical viewpoint. It simply makes sense to get it right. Investing in accessible and usable information technology communications must have clearly defined strategic goals. In achieving these goals, the organisation reveals how the investment contributes to Key Success Factors (KSF) relating to customers, employees and internal processes; thus improving performance, increases the bottom line, and shows how social responsibility benefit society as a whole.
Reimagine accessibility and foster inclusion in the modern workplace: Jeff Teper, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, May 2018

Older Users Are An Increasing Market

Older web users are an increasing market segment and an important target group for many businesses, governments, and other organizations.
There are numerous instances of an overlap between the needs of people with disability and people who are older. While many people are born with or develop vision decline over their lifetime, it becomes more common for older users whose eyesight deteriorates as they age. Many older people have age-related impairments that can affect how they use the web. These aspects overlap with the accessibility needs of people with disabilities. So, websites, applications, and tools that are accessible to people with disabilities are also more accessible to older users as well, such as declining:

  • Vision – including reduced contrast sensitivity, color perception, and near-focus, making it difficult to read web pages.
  • Hearing – including difficulty hearing higher-pitched sounds and separating sounds, making it difficult to hear podcasts and other audio, especially when there is background music.
  • Physical Ability – including reduced dexterity and fine motor control, making it difficult to use a mouse and click small targets.
  • Cognitive Ability – including reduced short-term memory, difficulty concentrating, and being easily distracted, making it difficult to follow navigation and complete online tasks.

Accessibility Is Helpful For All People

Accessibility is a necessity for people with disabilities, and is helpful and often necessary for many others. So many different people and groups benefit from digital accessibility including not only people with disabilities and older users, but also:

  • people using a mobile device which does not always act in the same way as a fixed desktop computer or laptop.
  • people with low literacy or who are not fluent in the language.
  • people with low bandwidth connections or using older technologies.
  • new and infrequent users of digital material.
  • people with situational limitations, for example they are in a noisy environment or one that has low light.
  • those who have a temporary disability such as a broken arm.
  • people who are in a situation where they cannot interact with content easily, for example videos with no captions and people who may not consider that their normal is not quite the same as that of other people and not consider themselves to have a disability, but still require some accommodations (Example: lowered vision ability due to age, or a slight tremor that affects their hands and arms).

Results Of Inaccessible Websites

All of these users are not in the typical person with a disability sector, but both are affected by the lack of accessibility considerations of the website. When a user is unable to complete their business, this may result in:

  • total frustration and possible anxiety for the user as well as the waste of their time.
  • loss of privacy/security for the user.
  • loss of reputation for the organization.
  • loss of revenue for the organization and possible litigation for the organization.