Article sponsored by accessiBe:
Connectivity is a ubiquitous component of the digital age, and it’s something that many people are continually applying to their everyday lives.
For example, a recent study by the Pew Research Center found that 25% of teenagers are “almost constantly online.” The results follow an earlier review of U.S. adults that concluded that the same proportion of adults are connected at the same rate.
In today’s digital-first economy, many of us are on our smartphones, laptops, and tables with indelible regularity, spending time on everything from Fortnite to Amazon.
Unfortunately, this broad accessibility isn’t available for everyone, and, in 2019, too many people don’t have access to this now critical functionality, making it more difficult to navigate in our modern landscape while restricting platforms’ access to a powerful customer base.
More specifically, web design and other elements build a wall between online platforms and those with disabilities, making them only half as likely to access technology and creating a significant data divide for more than 56 million people in the U.S. with a disability.
This is a problem.
A problem that is being tackled by various regulatory compliance bodies that are powered by the law, such as the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), issued by the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), and the federal law labeled as Section 508, requiring all electronic and information technology used by the federal government to be accessible to people with disabilities.
All website owners carry a responsibility to make their websites accessible to all users. It’s a matter of altruism – accessibility is the obvious moral position – and it’s also a matter of legality.
While companies like Domino’s are taking this issue up with the courts, the better solution for public and private platforms alike, is to adapt for accessibility.
Now, accessiBe’s AI-powered technology can make any website accessible to a broader range of people, simultaneously equipping millions of people to participate in the internet age while fostering regulatory compliance and platform growth for those that integrate its out-of-the-box technology.
Adapting For Accessibility
Holistic website accessibility includes accounting for a cadre of features that matter to a diverse set of users. Simple features like fonts, spacing, color contrast, and other aesthetics can make a significant difference in the usability of a website.
At the same time, more advanced features like pausing animations, providing on-screen dictionaries for the cognitively impaired, or an on-screen keyboard for the motor impaired are must-have features for many people.
Using existing solutions can make this an expensive proposition. Website accessibility experts can charge thousands of dollars to diagnose problems that they cannot fix. Consequently, fixing your website and making it accessible can quickly cost tens of thousands of dollars, putting this priority out of reach for too many platforms.
accessiBe accounts for all of these elements by applying a combination of foreground and background components that together create a seamless experience for web accessibility.
Using AI technology, accessiBe scans your website, identifying required adjustments and automatically implementing the best solutions to maximize usability. The initial process takes just 48 hours to complete, and it updates every day, meaning that even websites that are routinely refreshed remain accessible and compliant with the aforementioned regulations of the WCAG (including version 2.1), ADA and Section 508.
Perhaps most importantly, accessiBe doesn’t limit web design in the name of accessibility. Instead, it broadens usability, taking already beautifully crafted websites and making them applicable to a broader swath of users.
As accessiBe CEO, Shir Ekerling, explains, “For the first time in history, an accessible internet is not a distant dream but an achievable reality. With the utilization of AI, we streamlined the complex and costly process of making websites accessible and made it automatic, simple and affordable for any business.”
Since AI is doing the heavy lifting accessiBe controls costs while lowering turnaround time, providing rapid results that significantly improve usability and functionality for all users.
For companies looking to get the most out of their website by making it usable by as many people as possible, accessiBe’s simple solution is an obvious place to start. The comprehensive application of automation can be a boon for internet users.
Why It Matters
Web platforms have many reasons to get this element right.
First, and most importantly, website accessibility matters, and companies display a prescient lack of conscience when they fail to make reasonable efforts to make their services available for everyone.
“The digital world and the real world have become inseparable”, Ekerling explains. “When we exclude the disabled from the online world, we not only prevent them from enjoying what technology has to offer, we also take part in cutting off a disadvantaged group from essential resources needed to climb the social ladder”.
Of course, altruism isn’t the only motivation. Accessibility is the law.
US regulatory bodies demand that companies create platforms that are available to a broad and diverse user base. What’s more, these laws are being enforced with increasing regularity.
In 2018, 2,258 lawsuits were filed accusing platforms of being inaccessible to people with disabilities, an astounding 177% year-over-year increase. Consequently, companies are at risk for litigation, which carries both untold financial and public relations risks.
Government agencies, enterprise initiatives, and SMBs are all susceptible to these lawsuits, which places an inherent urgency for every organization to get this right.
Therefore, accessiBe stands out as a capable, affordable solution that promotes web adoption while fostering regulatory compliance.
Taken together, prioritizing web accessibility is a no-brainer, and companies have every reason to make it a built-in component of their internet infrastructure.
Ultimately, when platforms provide the most approachable, user-friendly interfaces possible, they engage the most people, making web accessibility a win-win for all stakeholders.
With AI’s burgeoning capabilities making this process relatively easy and hands-off, an out-of-the-box solution like accessiBe can transform any website, creating a stunning, user-friendly, accessible platform in the process.
As the internet continues to infiltrate our daily lives, the tools to allow more people to participate in this ecosystem couldn’t be more timely,
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.