There’s no question that documents and web content need to be made accessible, but there is much debate about which formats to offer. For instance, when should organizations provide Accessible PDF and when should they focus on HTML? One reason for this ongoing debate is that there are several myths about which of these two formats is “better”.
Document accessibility discussions tend to focus on how to comply with the various standards and guidelines for a given format, and rightly so. Making your documents accessible is essential, but there are also some bigger picture issues to consider.
Chances are you are already dealing with document remediation, or making documents accessible, if you are creating documents that will be shared in the digital world. If you are not dealing with remediation but do share documents digitally, then you might want to consider looking into it as rules and regulations are consistently increasing and getting stricter, making it a requirement.
Have you been tasked with implementing document accessibility in your organization? Are you looking for a solution that can handle a wide range of accessible formats and document types? CrawfordTech’s AccessibilityNow platform provides high levels of automation and integration into any environment. The platform includes software solutions and a wide range of services that can meet the document accessibility needs of any organization. This comprehensive platform supports the unique processing requirements of high-volume transactional documents as well as static content of all types.
If you work in the field of accessibility you will inevitably find yourself needing to refer to various disabilities, or to the people who have them. Politically correct language is not new, yet there is still a lot of confusion as to which terms are acceptable and which are not. And as if this were not enough, there are a host of clichés and idiomatic expressions that make mention – usually with negative connotations – of people with disabilities. So how do you discuss things like assistive technology and accessible documents while navigating what might feel like a linguistic minefield?
As businesses and organizations move more of their customer interactions online, web accessibility is now reaching the top of the enterprise priority list in Europe. Ensuring equal access for disabled users to websites and other important customer communications, is being driven not only by recent changes in EU legislation, but also by the size and strength of the market itself – some $6 trillion of disabled spending power globally. In Europe, 30 million people currently live with blindness or a visual impairment and approximately 80 million with a disability. With these figures set to triple by 2050 and new EU Accessibility legislation taking effect in the coming months, businesses that have a comprehensive digital accessibility strategy in place will be sure to see the greatest success.
Regulations are driving the accessibility market and unless corporations are ready to pay high fines, it is crucial for businesses to comply with the worldwide regulations that govern document accessibility and to provide barrier-free customer experiences to this underserved market. Having a solution that adjusts to the market while meeting strict regulations and adapts to the ever-growing needs of any environment, is not only desirable but essential.
Testing is a critical element in the document accessibility process. This is true whether you are providing one-off transcriptions or you’re implementing an accessible e-presentment solution for your transactional material. Accessible document producers generally include a quality assurance phase in their workflow but if you require additional testing you have a couple of options. You can review the output internally or you can work with a third-party tester.
There are many compelling business reasons for companies to embrace accessibility. We recently considered some of these in two blogs; The Business Case for Accessibility and Digital Inclusion – A call to action. Inclusivity, improved brand identity, a better customer experience and innovation to name a few. However achieving compliance with accessibility legislation, which mandates that visually impaired and disabled customers have equal access to products and services, is often the first reason that organizations act.
In the UK alone the ‘purple pound’ is worth around £249 billion. Globally, the combined spending power of disabled people is reported to be, a staggering, $6 trillion. As these figures only take into account people who live with a permanent disability, and not anyone who may be experiencing a temporary or situational impairment, it is undoubtedly a conservative estimate. Add to this the projected growth figures due to an ageing population and you have to wonder why companies are not focusing more of their time and effort on attracting and servicing the needs of this valuable market.