Digital Accessibility in 2024—How Inclusive Are We? 

March 13th 2024

Category(s):

  • Accessibility
Digital Accessibility in 2024

Digital accessibility must be the framework for planning, designing, and building any website, app, or content. It makes information easily accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Digital accessibility encompasses all digital spaces, including websites, apps, books, document formats, and kiosks. Web accessibility is a component of digital accessibility.

Where Are We At?

Awareness about accessibility is the need of the hour. Even though this term circles around people with disabilities (PwD), we must understand that the guidelines for accessibility are beneficial to all users. Disabilities can be visual, hearing, motoric, cognitive, and learning. The 2023 Digital Accessibility Index report, by AudioEye, reveals that digital user experiences are inadequate for 1.3 billion PwD worldwide.

WCAG

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is the go-to standard for digital accessibility. The latest version, introduced in October 2023, is WCAG 2.2, which added new success criteria to the previous version. It ensures that users’ digital interactions are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust (POUR). There are three levels of compliance: A, AA, and AAA. Many organizations aim for an AA level of compliance.

ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was originally for the physical barriers but has evolved to include digital spaces. It has made digital accessibility a legal mandate in the United States.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act ensures that all digital content of US federal agencies is accessible.

EAA

The European Accessibility Act (EAA) was put forth to complement the European Union Web Accessibility Directive in the private sector. The directive came into effect across all EU public sectors in 2021.

EN 301 549 is a European standard for products and services based on information and communication technologies.

Mandates and stricter accessibility regulations may make the work more challenging for accessibility professionals. However, the growing demands will create more job opportunities in this multidisciplinary field.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) and digital accessibility are a great pairing that will strengthen in 2024. It paves the way to hyper-personalization and has much potential to revolutionize the user experience. From natural language processing (NLP), text-to-speech technologies, and web navigation to accessible coding, AI has plenty of applications. AI can track individual user preferences and requirements, and AI tools can also help in testing, monitoring, and reporting. They identify errors and ensure compliance.

Future of Digital Accessibility

According to a 2023–2024 report by Level Access, 85 percent of organizations with accessibility policies see digital accessibility as a competitive advantage. Accessibility expands your reach and saves you from lawsuits, fines, and litigation fees. It all boils down to your organization’s reputation, brand value, and goodwill. Empathy is key in 2024.

Ensuring digital accessibility is a responsibility best left to the professionals, and Amnet Digita11y has it covered for you! Digital accessibility is a dynamic field that constantly evolves with technology. Let the experts with up-to-date knowledge on the guidelines, issues that PwD face, latest developments, policies, and technological solutions work for you. Explore our compliance services, and stay stress-free.

Sources

  1. https://userway.org/blog/digital-accessibility
  2. https://www.accessibility.com/blog/web-accessibility-in-2024-understanding-ada-digital-standards
  3. https://medium.com/bts-design-team/digital-accessibility-will-take-centre-stage-in-2024-after-catapulting-in-2023-1c51652b71e9
  4. https://prismic-io.s3.amazonaws.com/audioeye-web/0fa5c822-e798-4285-b9a4-b003fc64905a_%5bREMEDIATED+-+SHARABLE+VERSION%5d+Digital+Accessibility+Index.pdf
  5. https://www.levelaccess.com/resources/fifth-annual-state-of-digital-accessibility-report-2023-2024/