What Is Accessibility?
In the physical world, accessibility is the “attribute of being easy to deal with when needed.” The curb cut is a useful example: It is a solid ramp cut or built into a street curb that makes it easy for wheeled vehicles to traverse. Wheel-chair users are the primary beneficiary, but bicyclists, stroller-pushers and pedestrians also enjoy the improved access.
In the digital world, accessibility similarly benefits users beyond the disabled. Content that is easy to use is more valuable — electronic documents, websites, apps, any content delivered on a screen. Organizational knowledge is a key strategic asset in the information age- increasing the accessibility of content, using best practices and the latest technological tools maximizes value.
Why Is Accessibility Important?
- Accessibility adds value to organizational knowledge- a key strategic asset in the information age
- Increasing need to accommodate a changing demographic with increasing mobility and cognitive issues: The nation’s age 65+ population is projected to reach 83.7 million in the year 2050, almost double in size from the 2012 level of 43.1 million. Findings from the NHIS established that an estimated 22.5 million US adults (nearly 10%) reported vision issues
- We interact with new interfaces almost every day; increasing demand for anywhere-anytime access creates situational challenges for everyone.
- Addressing both functional limitations (disabilities) and situational limitations (temporary and environmental, i.e. injuries affecting motor skills, darkness/sunlight, background noise)
- Growing global regulations: 126 countries are signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century, to promote, defend and reinforce the human rights of all persons with disabilities.