By Jodie Greer, IT Accessibility Lead at Shell Information Technology International Limited
How many of us would have a business, or a job if there weren’t other people somewhere in the chain? Be that colleagues, customers, potential new recruits, suppliers etc. So how can you really put a value on accessibility?
In many forums I hear the same familiar questions, wanting to put a $ mark against accessibility goals and wanting to know the number of people impacted. Well, what if I told you there aren’t any statistics?
Some people would disagree with me and research shows that globally there are more than 1.3 billion people living with a disability* and together with their friends and family that group has a spending power of $8 trillion**.
Those of us in global organisations also contend with the numerous legislations around the world, meaning in some countries we cannot ask staff to share if they have a disability and sadly we all contend with the stigma that is still very apparent with regards some disabilities that makes people reluctant to share voluntarily.
In the workplace and with your customer base can you really put a value on making people as productive as they can be and/or enabling people to make use of your goods and services? Let’s not forget that accessibility doesn’t only enable people with disabilities, these good practices can prove beneficial for many. Some examples, captions can be invaluable for someone with a hearing impairment and can be just as beneficial for someone facing a language barrier, colour contrast can make all the difference for some people with a visual impairment to access information and also help those of us with good vision to stop squinting as we try to decipher what’s in front of us and good meeting practice can ensure we all take away the same messages without relying on the ability to recognise sarcasm or distinguish what’s said by motivated people all speaking at the same time.