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4 digital accessibility trends for 2020 and beyond

By: Perkins Access

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The most important digital accessibility trends smart organizations need to follow going into the new decade

2019 was the year digital accessibility finally went mainstream, and it looks like 2020 will be the year it starts getting the attention it deserves.

It’s one of the most important technology trends emerging this year—and smart organizations already know this. That’s why leaders in every sector are making sure their digital experiences can be used by everyone, including people with disabilities. They know if they don’t, their companies and brands risk losing customers and market share.

Are you prepared? Here are four trends in digital accessibility you need to be aware of to make sure your organization is primed to be a leader.

AI is changing the workforce
Just three years from now, three times as many people with disabilities will be employed, thanks to advancements in AI and other technologies, the research firm Gartner predicts.

That means organizations will have to make their own internal digital platforms accessible to meet the needs of a more diverse workforce.

Those who have already taken this step are positioned to reap the benefits of employing people with disabilities, including:

  • Higher retention rates
  • Increased productivity
  • Diversity in perspective

Those who haven’t should consider doing so now, or risk losing talent to the competition.

Inclusive design is going mainstream

Inclusive design means prioritizing the unique needs of all users from the earliest stages of the digital design process to create the best user experience for everyone.

While that may sound like something all organizations should have long been embracing, the fact is, they haven’t been.

But that’s changing.

Today, tech giants like Apple and Microsoft are touting their own inclusive design processes, while smaller outfits are using it as a competitive edge in their own corners of the marketplace.

Perkins Access guides organizations using an approach to inclusive design that incorporates accessibility from the start, enabling them to reach a growing customer base with enormous spending power.

Watch for this trend to continue throughout the year and as the decade progresses.

The law is weighing in

When the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case of a blind man who sued Domino’s over the accessibility of its pizza delivery app in late 2019, effectively upholding an earlier ruling in the man’s favor, disability rights activists celebrated the decision.

At the same time, smart organizations took note and realized it could just as easily have been them on the defensive in court.

Lawsuits over digital accessibility have exploded in recent years, and as technology evolves, that trend will continue. Now though, every lawsuit will be cast in the shadow of the Supreme Court leaving in place a ruling in favor of the plaintiff.

It’s critical for organizations to meet their commitments to the law, for the greater good and their own bottom line.

Digital democracy is following suit

In the 2018 midterm elections, voter turnout among people with disabilities surged 8.5 points over the election cycle four years prior, according to an article from Disability Scoop.

Coincidingly, election technology firms, like Clear Ballot, have begun designing polling stations that can be more intuitively used by people with disabilities.

These developments suggest people with disabilities are increasingly making their voices heard on the issues that matter to them and firms are working to make it easier for them to do so.

And as their voices are better represented in democracy, that means every issue relating to digital accessibility is going to become more and more important.

Perkins Access is here to help

For developers, graphic designers, UX professionals, content creators and all other relevant team members and the organizations that employ them, the message to take from these trends is a simple one: the time is now to ride the wave of digital accessibility, or be caught up, swept away and lost in its undertow.

Perkins Access has unparalleled expertise in the field. We can help your organization along the path to digital accessibility and equip your whole team with the skills and know-how to guide all future digital accessibility efforts.

Want to get started? Get in touch today!

Perkins Access
Perkins Access
As part of the world-renowned Perkins School for the Blind, we are committed to making the world more accessible for people of all abilities. And when you partner with Perkins Access, you become a part of that effort.