When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, in many cases making digital the only channel through which customers could interact with brands, Forrester saw a significant uptick in inquiries related to accessibility, mostly from companies getting serious about accessibility for the first time. The pandemic served as a wake-up call not just about the importance of digital accessibility but about its benefits, like:
More precisely, our annual survey of design teams found that 84% of companies are doing the work even though only 36% of companies have a top-down commitment to creating accessible digital experiences. How is this possible? It’s because even in the absence of a formal commitment from the top, grassroots accessibility efforts driven by passionate teams or individual employees are making it happen at 48% of companies.
Given how many companies are working on this, the rise in questions we’re getting on this topic isn’t surprising. Those questions tend to fall in two categories: (1) passionate clients pushing these grassroots efforts forward and looking for tips on where to start, and (2) executives at committed companies who are tasked with establishing or refining the organization’s digital accessibility practice.
In both instances, I’ve noticed recurring themes in the questions clients were asking, and that prompted me to launch a new research project.
Over the last six months I interviewed accessibility leaders within companies, government agencies, and services firms to dig up best practices and examples related to two sets of questions: