Cadence platform receives digital accessibility approval
Cadence platform receives digital accessibility approval
Table of contents
Every person deserves to be able to do what they need to do, without being excluded due to experiencing disability or impairment. With technology well and truly embedded into our everyday lives, ensuring equality in digital user experiences is more important than ever for achieving this.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day was launched to bring awareness to the ways in which we as a world can improve digital accessibility and inclusion, and make technology work for everyone.
What is digital accessibility?
Digital accessibility is making sure everyone is able to achieve the same outcome and quality of experience when accessing digital content or products. This can be anything from completing online learning, to ordering pizza.
Barriers can be put in place for people with disabilities when we assume that everyone has the same experience of the world. Assuming people will see, hear or interact with your content in the same way as you do, means content and context may be missing for some of your user audience.
Why accessibility matters
All content should be more accessible. The short answer as to why is: Because it’s the right thing to do.
Designing and building content that is more accessible allows everyone to have a meaningful and equal experience, regardless of any disability or impairment.
However, some other reasons to consider are:
No one benefits from exclusion, so why bake that into your content? Everyone benefits from a more accessible experience.
Why miss out on 16% of your potential audience?
You want your content to reach and impact the widest audience possible. The WHO estimate 1.3 billion people experience significant disability, which is a significant proportion of your potential audience to not cater for.
It’s the law
Anti-discrimination laws are in place worldwide, to protect people living with disabilities. In the UK, accessibility regulations came into force for public sector bodies almost 5 years ago, building on the existing obligations to people with disabilities from the Equality Act 2010.
Disabilities can affect anyone at any time
There is no one universal experience of disability and people’s functional ability varies hugely. A disability can be permanent, temporary or situational.
Some examples of permanent disability include hearing or vision loss, or brain injury. Temporary could be a broken arm, or effects from eyes, ears or oral surgery. Situational may be, a mother holding a baby in one arm
Taking an inclusive design approach
Taking extra steps to ensure your content is accessible to people and the assistive technologies they use means no one is missing out. The earlier you take these extra steps in any design process the easier the process will be. “Bolting on” accessibility at the end, is not an efficient process.
The WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) sets out a list of success criteria to meet, at 3 levels, A, AA and AAA. To meet each increased level, you must have met all the criteria at the previous level as well.
The criteria is split into 4 categories. Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust.
WCAG is often used as a quantifiable measurement to meet compliance, however you could technically meet all the criteria and still provide a less than great experience for some. User experience is important. Testing with assistive technologies and empathy exercises with UX personas are great. Including people with disabilities in your design process is the way forward, whether that be with your colleagues or a specialist provider, such as Fable.
BAD's approach to accessibility
At BAD, we are passionate about designing and delivering high quality digital experiences that educate, engage, and create lasting impact. Making these accessible for everyone is a core value that we are always working to improve. We don’t want to just meet compliance guidelines, but make the experience equitable and valuable for all users.
Taking an accessible first design approach to every project, we work with our clients to consider and understand the range of users that will be interacting with the content. We then use this to guide design, ensuring accessibility measures are considered at every step.
However, improving accessibility is a journey. There is always more that can be done. While authoring tools have come on leaps and bounds in recent times, many still have limitations which can be frustrating.
These limitations were one of the reasons we developed Cadence, our own digital development framework, that allows us to build custom learning content with the same convenience as standard tools. Our Cadence framework has allowed us to build in accessible features at its core.
This can be seen as Cadence recently received accessibility approval from ATOS following an independent assessment with one of our large international banking clients. This is a great step in the right direction and as a result allows us to speed up production for future projects, and ensure a consistent level of excellent user experience.
Want to find out more?
If you want to explore how your organisation could improve accessibility in digital learning and communications, get in touch with one of our team.
Accessible design isn’t a restriction at all. It benefits all users, whether they have disabilities or not, by providing a more intuitive, faster, and engaging experience.
When it comes to getting your message out there, for most organisations the problem isn’t a lack of content. It’s being able to deliver that content in a way that provides value for your audience, without hindering your business.
How leading with compassion can help employers have a more positive impact on mental health As a human being, I am lucky enough to experience this thing called life. While scientists and philosophers might still