Future Trends in Digital Accessibility

August 4, 2021

Idhaya M V

Future Trends in Digital Accessibility

Trendsetters in history are usually empathetic people. Out of empathy, trendsetters hear issues and problems people face and look to offer definitive solutions. They think about it as their own problem. The very definition of empathy, embodied. They work on it day and night to find solutions. But they don’t just come up with a solution; they make a revolution out of it. This is the characteristic nature that is akin to trend-setters.

Trends never go out of style

The council of people that formed the ADA was amongst these trendsetters. They identified the unheard voices and created a magic solution for all the issues that certain societies faced. From that day since it has only been a journey of growth increasingly inclusive in nature.

When the elephant in the room was addressed head-on with the start of ADA, many layers of problems were resolved. However, with every passing day, more empathetic solutions are required for new challenges that arise in the day-to-day life of a disabled person.

Trends in Digital Accessibility

The ability to foresee a problem and come up with a solution turns out to be a trend every time.

Let us look at few trends that can make waves in the field of digital accessibility.

1) More effort to make mobile platforms ADA compliant

A recent survey states that “The number of smartphone users is estimated to rise rapidly and reach 3.8 billion in 2021.” This 52 percent increase of mobile users within a five-year span is a record spike compared to previous years.

With such drastic growth of mobile users around the globe, it is imperative to maintain ADA compatibility across all mobile platforms. The more inclusive platforms are built, the more technology can become a boon for everyone.

2) Introduction of AI and ML

“The global AI market is predicted to increase in the next few years, reaching a $190.61 billion market value in 2025.”

With everyone speaking about artificial intelligence and machine learning, most of us know how they are paving the path for the future. There will come a day when there is no stone left unturned by AI and ML. Although there are specific technical difficulties considering ADA laws at this point, from the above growth rate, we can predict AI and ML will leave giant footprints in the field of digital accessibility as well.

13% of Americans experience difficulties and unemployment issues because of disabilities. The unemployment rate stands at 6.1% globally, twice that of people without disabilities.

But, we already feel the winds of change now. For example, unemployment rates are set to decrease drastically. In addition, the social and economic impact people with disabilities have faced due to these struggles will soon change, what with the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Being a proud partner of Microsoft, we can say that the tech giant has invested $25 million in the AI for Accessibility project to increase the number of assistive technologies and products for greater workplace accessibility within the next five years. With the success of this initiative, we are sure that the small, mid-size, and large MNC’s will be encouraged to follow suit in creating an equal and diverse workplace culture.

According to a Gartner report, three times as many people with disabilities will be employed three years from now. This proves that Artificial intelligence is not just about creating robots but also about making this world a better place to live by creating an opportunity to be more empathetic, understanding, and inclusive.

3) An all-Inclusive User Experience

“88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience.”

Accessible websites are the need of the hour. However, as it does not just solve to keep the average joe coming back to the site for more, it can also solve the difficulties physically challenged people have faced for ages with websites and other web-based media.

Future technology is set to create an all-inclusive user experience for its users. Again, AI and ML play an essential role here by letting developers build all-inclusive platforms for everyone to access.

“Social networking arenas have tripled their total number of users from 970 million in 2010 to 3.81 billion users in 2020.”

Major social media platforms have now enabled their R & D teams to work on problems disabled people face while accessing their platforms.

4) Strict Laws to be created for better digital accessibility in future

According to recent research, 2020 saw a 23% increase in ADA-related cases compared to 2019.

With increasing awareness about ADA and more support from people, more strict laws will be created in the future.

Organizations need to bear in mind that when they are ADA non-compliant, they have a maximum probability of being sued by every other Tom, Dick, and Harry.

Businesses that did not consider ADA laws are already suffering a lot in terms of revenue linked to accessibility. Therefore, it is always best to create an environment that is easily accessible to everyone.

All these trends related to ADA show a better future. The investments that organizations now have to make towards digital accessibility are inevitable. The empathy is spreading, one way or the other.

We at Eleviant, with our expertise in the field, are also doing our bit for better digital accessibility.

To know more about our work and how we can help you, feel free to contact our digital accessibility experts.

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