How to embed inclusive design in your organisation - and why it's good for business

AbilityNet’s Head of Digital Inclusion, Robin Christopherson MBE presented in October’s BASDA - The Voice of UK Business Software. In the presentation, Robin focused on two main areas; the business case for accessibility and how to do it right within companies large and small. 

In this article, Robin takes a deep dive into these areas and how they are vital for businesses.

The business case for accessibility

At its core there are three components to the compelling case for considering accessibility in everything you do:

  • It’s a legal requirement - Equality Act and the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations
  • The ROI (Return On Investment) is huge – an estimated £274bn disposable income of people with disabilities in the UK and 76% will ‘click away’ if they encounter inaccessibility
  • It’s just the right thing to do – think how important digital is to you… 

I won’t go into any more depth here as it’s all brought together in one handy business case page on our AbilityNet website:

Access The Business Case for Accessibility

Did you know that accessible products are easier to use by all? This is because everyone using a mobile phone experience ‘situational impairments’ every day. Below is a nice infographic from Microsoft to explain the concept.

Graphic showing three six people in permanent, temporary or situational impairments. For 'touch' permanent, a man has one arm. For 'touch' temporary, a man has an injured arm. For 'touch' situational, a woman holds a baby and is a new parent. For 'see' permanent, a woman is blind. For 'see' temporary, a woman has cataract. For 'see' situational, a man is distracted while driving.

Image source: Microsoft

Embedding accessibility across your organisation

We then looked at the best way to review your organisation’s current levels of ‘accessibility maturity’ and how to ‘level up’. This is using AbilityNet’s DAMM; Digital Accessibility Maturity Model.

Access the Digital Accessibility Maturity Model

Our DAMM is a practical way of assessing how well you embed accessibility within your digital products – both internally and those you may produce. It exists to answer two BIG questions we are asked by our clients:

  • Where are we currently when it comes to digital accessibility and compliance across everything we do?
  • What do we need to do next to achieve a position of compliance and even best practice?

Maturity Models are a well-established management consultancy tool which help you address these questions through a structured consultation process. The result? Movement towards a less ad-hoc, less ‘fire-fighting’ approach to accessibility and towards one where shifting left means that everyone has the tools, training and support to do things right from the outset; making sure things are ‘Born accessible’.

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How AbilityNet can help