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The Digital Accessibility Journey: Exploring Priorities and Investments in Aus and NZ organisations

Driven by culture and values

For organisations already on the journey, the main drivers for improving Digital Accessibility centre more on culture and values than reputation or regulatory need. This values-driven motivation bodes well for the future, as businesses are in this for tangible, human reasons – and not just for show. The most popular motivations include:

Building a more inclusive culture
Aligning with the organisation’s values
Meeting the needs of a broader customer base
Empowering or developing staff

The influence of complaints or legislation:

  • Only the largest organisations ($50m+) are more likely to see Digital Accessibility as a function of corporate social responsibility or brand reputation.
  • Public sector organisations are more likely to enhance Digital Accessibility due to legislation.
  • New Zealand organisations are more likely to be motivated by complaints than businesses in Australia.

Why improve access for employees?

When asked about the key benefits of making digital assets and services more accessible for employees, respondents cited increases to inclusivity (17%), equality (13%) and productivity/job satisfaction (13%).

Not-for-profits are the most likely to cite “promoting inclusivity” as a benefit for employees (25%), while privately-owned businesses are the least.

Most interestingly, 38% of respondents are not sure about the benefits to employees. An opportunity exists to educate organisations about the benefits of making employee-facing assets and services digitally accessible.

“We wanted our business to be inclusive for people and employees with disability, we wanted to show we valued them as employees and well as customers.”

The benefit to customers

When asked about the benefits of designing digitally accessible assets and services for customers, respondents cite “equitable access for all customers” (35%) and “providing better customer experiences and support” (30%) as the key drivers.

  • Public Sector organisations are markedly more likely to think Digital Accessibility enables equitable access for customers.
  • 20% of respondents feel that Digital Accessibility helps them to reach a broader customer base.
  • Many are unsure of the benefit to customers (36%), which highlights a general need to increase awareness.
The graph indicates what respondents considered as benefits of improving accessibility of digital assets and services. View accessible version of the infographic. The illustration represents people holding a thumbs up emoji – representing customer experience “[Digital Accessibility] promotes citizenship and loyalty towards services that want that business or want to engage in this specific community.” The image represents an illustration with two people interacting with digitally accessible technology.

Intopia’s Managing Director, Stewart Hay said “There’s a need to drive more awareness and education on the benefits of enabling better digital access for people with disability. While very significant, it’s not surprising to see that more than a third of respondents were not aware of the benefits of enabling digital access for their employees or customers. Normalising an inclusive culture is crucial if organisations are to accelerate their Digital Accessibility journeys.”

Good for business

Beyond moral imperatives, Digital Accessibility can have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line. While this isn’t the main driver for most organisations in Australia and New Zealand, understanding its benefits may offer some extra encouragement. The business benefits of Digital Accessibility can include:

  • Increased customer acquisition (since more people are able to access your services)
  • Increased loyalty from communities who value accessibility (it’s been estimated that 71% of users with disability will click away from sites with access barriers)
  • Improved SEO performance (as Digital Accessibility standards often overlap with good SEO practices)
  • Strengthened brand image and reputation
  • Improved user experiences for all (Digital Accessibility improves ease of navigation, understanding and readability for all).
“The world is becoming more digital, and we need to make ourselves more discoverable on a platform that will grow.”