This is a transcript of the video Five reasons why we should care about accessibility
(TEXT ON SCREEN: Five reasons why we should care about accessibility – Lesson excerpt from eAccessibility with David Berman)
(David Berman appears on screen and faces the camera for the duration of this video. David is wearing a dark grey suit with a black shirt and tie. Also on the screen are slides he is speaking to: David audio describes all relevant slide content as he goes.)
What I want to bring you to is five reasons why we need to care about accessibility. And the first one is, there’s just so many of us on the planet today. I’m showing a picture of Times Square, New Year’s Eve. There’s perhaps over a hundred thousand people packed in there.
And I’m going to start a poll. I’m going to show you how the polls work. So I’m going to launch a poll. And I’m going to ask you the question– and I’m asking it now out loud as well as in writing. What proportion of people do you figure regularly experience a substantial disability? And the way the poll works is I launch the poll. And those of you that can see the screen c see that there’s five choices– 6%, 9%, 15%, 18%, or 100%. I’m asking you to tell me what proportion of people you think regularly experience a substantial disability. And you can use the poll tool. Or you can use your voice to announce your result, and we’ll log it in as well for you.
I’m just going to leave that poll in as I’m watching over 70% of us have voted already. All right, it looks like almost everyone has now voted. We’re over 80%. I’ll just leave it open a few more moments. And I’m going to close the poll now.
And here’s our results. So what do we got? Well, so the majority of us chose the fourth of the five answers, 18%. So the majority of us are thinking 18% of people live with a substantial disability. And you’re kind of right.
I think it’s 100%. We’ll see why that is soon enough. But whether it’s 18% or it’s 100%, I think we get it.
And so if we look at the 18%– and how many people are living on the planet these days? I’m going it’s say 7 billion people, of which 18%– so it’s 18%, 7 billion. That’s about a fifth. That’s about 1.2 billion people who aren’t buying our products or aren’t getting our message about health care or whatever reason. That’s a lot of people to leave out. And of course, if we’re into publishing on the web, we want to reach everyone.
Now, the second reason to care about accessibility is search. Statistics show us that, at least in Canada and the United States, over 70% of retail purchases begin with an online search. And Google search engine, the AI engine is getting smarter and smarter, but still, perhaps, has the cognitive ability of perhaps a four-year-old. And because of that, if we follow accessibility principles to structure our information away that Google’s confident that it understands the relative importance of information, and it’s confident that you’re presenting information that is credible, then it increases the chance that your results are the ones that are going to be presented, and that your results are going to be presented at the right time to the right people. And everyone wants that. For many organizations we work with, search alone was worth the investment in creating an accessible product.
The third reason– and I’m showing a picture right now of Stephen Hawking as an example of the importance, from a human resources perspective, that if we want to attract and retain the very best people, there’s not an HR department on the planet that wants to eliminate 18% of the potential people to help make their organization succeed right off the bat because you can’t work there. And indeed, part of our process with creating accessible products isn’t just to make sure that the output, the end product is accessible, we actually want to create products in a way that everyone can be involved in every step of the process of creating the product, whether it’s the content management system authoring in a website, or if we’re creating a document that, even while the document is still in Word or PowerPoint, we want an accessible experience and not just wait for the final publishing of the website or the publishing of, let’s say, a result in PDF or an EPUB file.
The fourth reason is the social justice reason. It’s just the love– I’m showing a picture of someone who looks shockingly like me hugging a tiger. And well, it’s just the right thing to do. Here in Canada, we may not be the most glamorous country on the planet. But a lot of people do give us kudos for often demonstrating how we can create a civilization that doesn’t leave folk behind.
But the fifth reason, the fifth reason is the regulatory reason. And whether it’s federal regulations, or provincial or state regulations, or– we’re all federations here. Hey, Canada, US, it’s true. We’re all federations. All right. So we can talk federal. OK, so at the federal level, a lot of you, I know, are here because you’re it’s being demanded of you that in order to comply to meet or exceed what the government is now demanding that you need to know how to do these things.
(TEXT ON SCREEN: David Berman Communications)