28 June 2019

Accessibility is a human right

Accessibility
Design

Many people think that web accessibility is a lot of effort for just 1 % of the population. Or if you don’t have any users with disabilities, you can just ignore it. In reality, accessibility is much more than making the Internet work with screen readers or other assistive technology. It’s about giving everyone equal access to the digital services we’re building.

In fact, everyone benefits from accessible web services. Accessible websites and services are usually easier to use and understand. Who would not want that? Plus accessibility is actually good for businesses too, if they’re aiming to reach as many users as possible.

And if you still want some stats:

  • More than a billion people in the world live with a disability. That’s 15 % of the whole population. 1
  • In Finland, over one million people need accessible services. That’s almost one in every 5 people. 2

The whole point of accessibility is to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in society. Accessibility is thus a basic human right. We as creators, owners and maintainers of web services have a huge opportunity – and responsibility – in this respect.

Universal design is driven by empathy – an understanding that one size doesn’t fit all.   
– Patricia Moore

I would suggest we stop designing for people with disabilities and start embracing the fact that no two people are alike. We all have our limitations. Or just days when it’s just difficult to concentrate on reading complex text. Let’s create services for the real world – and preferably always together with the people who actually use them.

We at Wunder have already set ourselves an ambitious vision: to build a world where digital belongs to everyone. We want to do our part in making the world more equal for everyone.

 

1. World report on disability (WHO, 2011)
2. Miksi
saavutettavuus on tärkeää? (Celia)

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