It took a pandemic for the government and the corporations to truly understand the strength and the advantages of digital accessibility. Within mere weeks, the pandemic has done things that years of education and lobbying could not do. The medical restrictions imposed by the government as well as the international bodies have compelled the organizations across the world to get convinced about the digital assets like the email and the websites.
The pandemic has made even the most uncompromising parties realise that the digital assets like emails, websites and mobile applications are easy to use and pretty simple to navigate.
With the sudden changes in physical interactions, people across the world are now relying on digital channels more than ever. Just think how irritating it can be for them if the digital channels they want to use are not optimized for accessibility.
For years now, people with disabilities have faced this problem. The pandemic has just made it clear how much we depend on the digital channels and how vital a role digital accessibility plays in our life.
Even though the world was changing and adapting to the digital transformation, it was not enough. There are still a lot of scopes that we can use to improve our digital experience. Incorporating digital accessibility makes it possible for the disabled to navigate the internet with the help of some technologies like Jaws and NVDA without facing many obstacles.
According to the professionals of SEO Company in Toronto, it is the digital accessibility that makes your mobile applications, websites and electronic documents understandable and accessible to people with visual cognitive, auditory, and physical disabilities.
To understand the importance of this step, you have to think about the 37.5% of the global population who lives with some type or the other of disabilities. This number includes elderly people who have disabilities due to age-related problems.
All these disable people can not only shop from the online stores but also try to check information about their medications, health problems, banking and details related to COVID-19.
Why is Accessibility Paramount Right Now?
Before the pandemic engulfed the world, the in-person visit to the stores was acceptable. Physical interactions with other people were more welcome and normal. While email and other digital forms were popular, it was not a mandatory affair for most people.
Right now, due to COVID 19, most schools and colleges are closed. However, to make sure that the flow of education does not stop, online classes were arranged for the students. Just think what will happen if the disabled students could not take the advantages of these classes.
According to the professionals of SEO Company in Toronto, most of the learning materials do not have any proper captioning for their media content. These courses and study materials do not have any proper transcripts of the audio files as well. The universities and the schools across the world should consider the students of different user groups while making the study materials to make it more accessible.
Before the pandemic hit us, it was entirely feasible for the disabled people to go for their regular doctor visits for consultation. However, the pandemic has forced them to use the digital platform for consultation and medication. If the websites of the health care organizations, including hospitals, pharmacies and insurances are not easily accessible to them, it would create a huge problem.
There is no doubt that anxiety, loneliness, and the problems due to changes in routine will be affecting the disabled users the most in these changed conditions. Many SEO Company in Toronto points out that even though in the last few months the online platforms are bursting with different entertainment websites and fun activities, in reality, most of them do not provide barrier-free access to the users.
Some of the common accessibility features should ensure that the websites and emails are easily navigable on mobile devices with the help of keyboards as well. Avoiding texts with poor color contrast and making sure that the PDF can be read through the screen readers are some of the steps that can reduce the barrier of accessibility and ensure that everyone can use the content available online without any problems.
Industries That Requires Digital Accessibility the Most?
Some industries are required to take this issue seriously and act on it ASAP. This pandemic has shown that industries like retail, education and health care are in real need of removing the barriers of accessibility. That does not mean other industries should not act on this issue. It is the right time for the businesses and organisations to take a good look at their websites and try to make it as accessible to the users of all demography as possible.
The window of opportunity to smash the barriers of digital accessibility is now. The companies and organizations should check that they are doing everything to remove the barriers and maintain their clientele. The pandemic has shown the importance of digital access, and it is the right time for us to change the status quo.