Applause industry survey reveals digital accessibility is a top priority for 1/3 of European organisations

By rotide
Created 12/05/2023 - 06:24
Bob Farrell small.jpg

Bob Farrell, Vice President of Solution Delivery and CX Practices for Applause.

Applause, a provider of testing and digital quality services, today announced the results of its annual Accessibility and Inclusive Design Survey. The recently completed global survey of more than 1,300 respondents (805 in Europe), including software testers, product engineers, legal professionals, software developers, QA and UX professionals, examines how companies prioritize accessibility when developing their digital experiences and how respondents rate their knowledge level regarding accessibility.

Overall, the study revealed a disconnect between making accessibility a priority and achieving conformance to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 standards for making web and mobile content more accessible to people with disabilities.

Key European Findings:

"With the pending update to WCAG standards this summer, and the implementation of the EU Accessibility Act in June 2025, companies need to commit to advancing their focus on accessibility and inclusivity for their digital products and experiences. Making strides in accessibility often requires education and a cultural shift within organizations. If there is a disconnect between prioritizing accessibility, and actually taking the steps necessary to make it a reality, it's difficult to make progress," said Bob Farrell, Vice President of Solution Delivery and CX Practices for Applause.

Farrell added: "The survey shows we haven't really seen a huge amount of progress over the past three years, and there is even a growing trend for product developers to be less likely to build accessibility into their design plans. Digital accessibility requires an ongoing commitment to building inclusive experiences, designing products and writing code with accessibility in mind, and then testing digital properties for accessibility throughout the development process."

Motivators for Conformance

For a second year, respondents answered that the top three biggest motivators in achieving accessibility conformance were "improving usability for all end users" (45%), "building positive public perception" (22%) and "gaining and maintaining market share" (15%).

"Most organizations see the importance and value in releasing accessible products and experiences, but legal compliance is just a starting place. Truly accessible experiences require input from disabled and non-disabled people, both from a design and a testing angle. This is where organizations should engage the support of specialists where they need help, to ensure they are building fully accessible digital experiences for all," Farrell said.




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