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“Lack of ownership, people and skills” are biggest obstacles to accessibility | Inviqa Digital Accessibility Report

Daisy Bird
New report from Inviqa looks at the biggest barriers to progress when it comes to accessibility.

Design agency Inviqa shared findings from its recent report, Digital Accessibility: Achieving Great CX For All.

The report is based on a poll of 100 UK digital professionals. These findings offer insight into the organisational barriers that mean accessibility is often neglected.

Customer experience and the case for accessibility

The report builds on the case that web accessibility is essential for delivering a great Customer Experience (CX). By prioritising accessibility, organisations create better products and experiences for all their customers.

The appreciation that accessible products are better products will be key to helping more brands design inclusively and ensure a great customer experience for everyone alike.

Olga Bulyina, senior UX consultant at Inviqa

About the report

Digital agency Inviqa developed the report with an aim to:

  • identify barriers to advancing the accessibility agenda
  • explore how organisations deal with those barriers
  • help organisations understand the benefits of inclusive digital design

Inviqa ran a multiple-choice online survey in February 2020. The findings are based on the responses of more than 100 UK digital professionals. The largest group surveyed work in digital design and development (51%), followed by Marketing (9%) and eCommerce (7%).

The report includes quotes and data from The Big Hack by Scope’s Reporting Tool.

Main findings

Infographic reads "85% of brands agree that businesses lose out when they don't cater to digital access needs" and brands that are not designing inclusive products miss out on a £274 billion opportunity, with $6.9 billion lost to accessible ecommerce competitors annually.

  • 85% of organisations agree that businesses lose out when they don’t cater to users with digital access needs.
  • Brands who fail to cater to UK customers with digital access needs are missing out on a £274 billion opportunity.
  • Lack of clear ownership within the organisation’ is the biggest barrier to accessibility (43%), followed by a lack of ‘the right people or skills’ (16%).
  • Only 4% of respondents strongly agree that their websites and apps currently meet accessibility guidelines. But 44% agree or strongly agree that they will meet technical compliance within the next 12 months.
  • The universal usability benefits of accessibility are the biggest driver (52%) for adoption. The second is the legal reasons (27%).
  • 65% of organisations have not tested their sites and apps with real customers with access needs.

‘Organisations are starting to understand the universal usability benefits of accessibility’, says Olena Bulygina, senior UX consultant at Inviqa.

Main barriers to progress within organisations

Table reveals the biggest barriers to accessibility, according to Inviqa. At the top is "No clear ownership within the organisation" with 43% of respondents suggesting this is the main reason accessibility is overlooked. Second is organisations "lacking the right people or skills".

What are the biggest barriers to accessibility?

  1. “No clear ownership within the organisation” 43%
  2. “Lacking the right people or skills” 16%
  3. “Finding it hard to justify the spend” 11%
  4. “Not sure what accessibility really means” 10%
  5. “Senior leadership not convinced of the benefits” 6%
  6. Other 15%

Lack of understanding about access needs

Despite the fact that around 22% of the population is disabled, there still seems to be a lack of knowledge about designing for disability.

A huge 73% were unable to identify the portion of the UK population with a disability or impairment and 81% were unable to identify the consumer spending power of UK disabled people, which is worth more than £274 billion.

The report also highlights a lack of awareness about what web accessibility is, and who it benefits.

Structural barriers within the organisation

The report highlights a lack of clear ownership, structure, and governance as a significant barrier to progressing the accessibility agenda.

Only 31% agree or strongly agree that digital accessibility is seen as everyone’s responsibility within their organisations.

The continuation of accessibility has been overlooked. There is no clear senior management involvement…and people leaving the organisation means we have lost the ability to address accessibility.

Great CX For All survey participant

Only 27% agree or strongly agree that digital accessibility has clear ownership within the business.

Accessibility often considered an afterthought

Our findings indicate that accessibility is not being considered from the outset of the digital product lifecycle.

Infographic reads "65% of brands have not tested their sites and apps with customers with access needs"

Only 31% of organisations consider accessibility when researching customers’ needs.

Only 19% of consider accessibility when deciding which digital products to build. Accessibility efforts are seemingly being driven by design and development teams, with 50% of organisations considering accessibility at the design stage, and 54% doing so at the technical build stage.

By investing in inclusive design practices, organisations improve their overall customer offering. We hope this research inspires more digital design and development teams to invest in accessibility.

To learn more and get the complete findings:

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