Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, an awareness day focusing on digital access and inclusion for the more than one billion people who live with disabilities or impairments. Keeping technology accessible for everyone is the key theme this year, and in an era when technology is very much a big part of our lives now, it's never been more important.
In the UK, one in five people have a disability - this could be visual, hearing, motor (affecting fine movement) or cognitive (affecting memory and thinking).
Web accessibility software supports people with disabilities to navigate the internet independently. But only 1 in 10 people in need have access to assistive technology due to the high costs.
Tanya Churchill, Marketing Manager at Magna, manages Magna’s website. She said: “Our website is a vital tool for our customers and it’s therefore really important it’s as accessible and user friendly as possible. To help us with this, we have an accessibility toolbar on our website that anyone can use, free of charge. It can read the content of pages out loud, translate to other languages, convert text to MP3 and much more.”
The ReachDeck accessibility toolbar, provided by TextHelp, is used on average by 2,000 visitors to the Magna website every month, highlighting the need for websites to be accessible and inclusive in design.
Tanya added: “Adding the accessibility toolbar has helped to give our visitors a better online experience. Over the next year, I’ll be focussing on improving the accessibility of our website; reducing our overall reading age, increasing the readability of our content and striving to make a website that is truly accessible for all.”