21 Nov Our Solution to Accessibility for All
Close to 15% of the global population has an impairment that affects their visual, hearing, motor or cognitive abilities. To ensure that online products are available to all, companies need to ensure that their content, both digital and print, is easy to navigate, intuitive and complies with regulatory guidelines on accessibility such as Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act, the British Standard 8878 and the European Accessibility Act. These standards apply to government agencies, healthcare, and educational organizations, as well as any relevant private sectors and regulated industries.
Introducing the SDL Accessibility Solution
In order to process content to make it accessible, multiple pages need to be created, adapted and checked manually, including embedded PDFs, videos and documents. For regulated industries, the process to accessibility compliance is even more challenging given the volume, time frames and confidential nature of content. The SDL Accessibility Solution provides a strategic approach TO handling accessibility requirements, effectively managing and processing online content to reach the largest possible and most inclusive audience. This is carried out through consulting, implementation, technology and localization, not to mention local knowledge regarding compliance. By remediating content, the overall online experience for clients is easier and more straightforward, which in turn can improve a company’s reputation and revenue. This much is confirmed by SVP at SDL, Christophe Djaouani:
“Much like a physical store or office, companies need to ensure that their online products, services, and digital experiences are available to everyone. The reality is that companies – who are already overwhelmed with content – still lack a strategic approach to universal accessibility. Incorporating accessibility into a content strategy can improve the customer’s journey and have an overall positive impact on your customers’ experience and your company’s revenue.”
So how do we ensure compliance?
The SDL Accessibility Solution is a customized tool that helps companies make all their content and digital experiences universally accessible while complying with global regulations, irrespective of the type of disability and across multiple languages. For instance, SDL can offer:
- Audio and visual tools that people can use to access and navigate content
- Larger font options, and appropriate use of colors for a clearer reading
- Intuitive web pages that are easy and straightforward to operate
- Maximum compatibility with assistive technologies, such as screen readers or hearing aids
With an aging population accustomed to internet access, the numbers of those needing this support will grow over the years to come, and companies and organizations will need to find a way to keep up while maintaining quality, multilingual content and compliance with local legal provisions.
As mentioned above, compliance with accessibility regulations will improve the usability and the overall reputation of an organization’s online content. Of course, it goes without saying that non-compliance is detrimental to a brand’s image, which could have a more long-lasting and harsher effect than any fines or penalties imposed. Regulatory compliance is critical for reducing corporate risk. This is especially the case in an environment where a greater population is relying on online tools in their daily life, the amount of content that is online rather than printed is increasing for all companies, and people now expect to have access to content whenever and however they want it, in any language and across all abilities.
The nuts and bolts of our solution
To give persons of limited abilities the same access as non-impaired individuals, the SDL Accessibility Solution combines its know-how and strategic approach with technological solutions. We leverage from SDL Tridion Sites (a web content management system) alongside the SDL Translation Management System (TMS) and SDL XPP (an automated XML publishing engine) to assist the accessibility tool in making content available to all. This means all languages, all abilities, and across any channel of the customer’s choosing.
The end result is a one-stop shop that guarantees compliance through the following:
- Tagging Structure – a consistent tagging structure to be applied to tables and list elements
- Logical Reading Order – maintaining a logical reading order in a document, consistent with tagging hierarchy, so that it can be read aloud by assistive technology
- Order Panel Verification – all the content in PDFs within your content are either tagged or artifact
- Quality Checks – a separate team of specialists performs both electronic and manual checks across all content
- Content Integrity – integrated electronic workflow (including active URLs, links and tables of contents)
Most importantly, content needs to be operable, straightforward and of the highest possible quality for anyone using it.
The SDL Accessibility Solution is another step in our all-encompassing content supply chain strategy. Whether it’s creating and managing content, applying our tools to streamline workflows, or even adhering to time and cost restrictions, this solution is just one more way that we can help our clients to deliver value, across the board.