Report: COVID-19 Crisis is Driving Digital Accessibility Awareness
Survey Shows Resurgence in Digital Transformation Efforts Offering Opportunity for Organizations to Become More Accessible to People with Disabilities
HERNDON, VA – May 19, 2020 – Deque Systems, a leading software company specializing in digital accessibility, today announced results of a survey showing how the COVID-19 crisis has heightened awareness of the impact of accessibility on the digital channel.
The survey, conducted in partnership with the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and G3ict Research, also showed that accessibility practitioners expect increased workloads in the coming months to make their digital assets more accessible.
“Where would we be without the conveniences of online delivery, teleworking and online entertainment during this time of crisis?” says Preety Kumar, CEO of Deque Systems. “COVID-19 is causing a second wave of digital transformation efforts. Organizations who are already practicing accessibility early in their development process are best positioned to help to ensure people with disabilities are not excluded from the essential services the Internet provides. But, with the majority of websites being inaccessible to assistive technologies, we still have a long way to go.”
What is Digital Accessibility? Digital Accessibility is the practice of making digital documents, web and mobile apps accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. Many people with visual, auditory, motor, speech or cognitive disabilities rely on various forms of assistive technology or usability features to experience the full benefit the web has to offer. Without the continuous use of features like captions, alt-text for screen readers, zoom functions, simple presentation layouts and more, digital content may be inconvenient or impossible to use.
Survey Key Findings: The majority of survey respondents are senior-level, U.S.-based accessibility practitioners working in industries including education, financial services, government, healthcare, pharmaceutical services and more. Among the key findings:
- 83 percent reported that COVID-19 has raised the profile and importance of digital channels within their organizations.
- 62 percent say it has increased awareness of the impact of accessibility on digital channels.
- 90 percent expect the volume of their work to increase or stay the same in the next three months.
- More than one-third of respondents have heard reports that users with disabilities are having increased difficulty accessing services during this time of crisis.
- When asked how employees with disabilities are able to work remotely with digital platforms, 63 percent said they have some or great difficulty.
“While we are pleased to see greater attention being paid to accessibility, we’d also like to see organizations further empower those responsible to fulfill this critical mission,” continues Kumar. “Addressing accessibility will help close the digital divide and allow everyone to access critical services during times of crisis and stability alike. ”
This survey of 292 accessibility practitioners was conducted by Deque Systems during March and April of 2020 in cooperation with the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and G3ict Research. For the complete survey report, visit: https://www.deque.com/covid-19-digital-accessibility-report/.
About Deque Systems
Deque (pronounced dee-cue) is a web accessibility software and services company, and our mission is Digital Equality. We believe everyone, regardless of their ability, should have equal access to the information, services, applications, and everything else on the web.
We work with enterprise-level businesses and organizations to ensure that their sites and mobile apps are accessible. Installed in over 250,000 browsers and with over 1,000 audit projects completed, Deque is the industry standard.