Recently, Google Doodle recognized Seiichi Miyake, a Japanese inventor. When Seiichi Miyake found out a close friend was losing the ability to see clearly, he wanted to help. That desire led to an entirely new way for the visually impaired to navigate big cities, railways and parks. In 1965, Miyake invented the tactile paving slab (or "Tenji block" in Japan) with his own money.
The Tenji blocks were first installed in the Japanese city of Okayama on March 18, 1967, next to a school for the blind, and they would go on to revolutionize the way the visually impaired interact with the world, making it safer and easier to get around public spaces independently. If you have ever been on a New York subway, you undoubtably walked over the Tenji block tiles on the edge of the platform. I even have them at the intersection/crosswalks in my town. What amazes me most in the research I read is that this inventor was thinking about how to make the world more Accessible in 1967. Flash forward to 2019, and there are still plenty of organizations who don’t have a plan for Accessibility.
1.3 billion people – nearly 18% of the world’s population – have a disability of one kind or another.
(Source: Global Economics of Disability Annual Report 2014)
If you have a strong Accessibility policy, I commend you. If not, there’s no time like the present to start. As an altruistic effort, consider that you will be opening up fyour website, commerce platform, etc. to a whole new user base, not to mention the families of those with disabilities. And try to think broadly because a disability could include:
I believe that most businesses know why it should be done, but what are you really risking if you don’t?
By not complying with web accessibility regulations, businesses open themselves up to a daunting range of costs and consequences:
Here are only a few of the hundreds or thousands, of court cases over the last decade involving allegations against businesses accused of website accessibility failures. The very lack of ADA definitions about accessibility has encouraged plaintiffs and lawyers to launch lawsuits:
Call to Action
Web accessibility challenges will only increase for digital marketers and enterprise companies, driven in some places by a lack of clear legal definitions that give consumers and lawyers a window to launch litigation, in others by the official arrival of that very regulation, which may vary considerably in details, stringency and penalties between markets.
The bottom line is that companies need to acknowledge and accept that web accessibility is being increasingly viewed as a universal right in many countries. By ignoring that fact, companies are not only opening themselves up to costly consequences, but may be shortsightedly losing out on audiences that would gratefully embrace corporate efforts to deliver that accessibility.
If you would like to learn more about how you can use Crownpeak to drive your Accessibility initiatives, please set up time to discuss this with your Customer Success Manager.
Remember: We can help and any solution you use/buy will be far less costly than litigation.