South Africa currently has about 3 million people living with disabilities. In the past, people living with disabilities have been excluded from the majority of meaningful activities in society, such as access to education and economic opportunities. The COVID-19 global pandemic has forcefully accelerated digital transformation, which has highlighted a growing concern: that people with disabilities have had to take a backseat when it comes to accessing information easily.
According to MediaWire, digital accessibility addresses the ability of people with visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive disabilities to access electronic resources, such as the Internet, software, mobile devices, e-readers, and so forth. This list also includes people with changing abilities, due to aging or illness.
The term “accessible” refers to the concept of whether a product or service can be used by everyone – irrespective of how they interact or encounter it. In the context of BET Software, accessibility means that all people can understand, navigate, and interact with the electronic information we develop, and which we share; this enables them to be active, contributing members of the digital world.
As a software company, our accessibility extends to the service and product offering we provide. This entails our digital platforms, like our websites, mobile apps, and software solutions being readable, operable, and functioning for all users – this includes people with disabilities.
As we position ourselves as digital drivers and continue to strive to be an industry leader, digital accessibility benefits our organization and society in its entirety. This goes over and beyond having, or showcasing disability campaigns that are usually published on social platforms as PR content. Thankfully, as technology is evolving, so does the assistive technology that can help make the digital world easier to manage. This enables the company to reach a larger spending power of working-age people. Furthermore, people with disabilities are more productive and engaging with technology when they access technology that allows them to excel.
Among the most important trends in technology is the concept of user experience, which focuses on improving technology’s effectiveness, and ease of use. Take, for example, a common web browser feature: the ability to zoom in on an image or text. This functionality enables more people, including those with visual disabilities, to access information on mobile devices and laptops. A lack of accessibility denies full digital experiences to people with disabilities, reinforcing societal inequity.
Accessibility returns the human factor. Responsibility for digital and physical accessibility usually falls within very different teams within organizations. Digital accessibility is typically overseen by UX and product teams, while physical accessibility is often managed by buildings or facilities teams, or even HR. Designing products and solutions for people with accessibility needs is a challenging task, considering the variety of users’ capabilities and their characteristics.
As a company that is in its growth phase, BET Software is ensuring that they create an inclusive environment for all by affording all Team Members physical accessibility through components that include handicapped parking and/or elevators.
Through so doing, the business reflects its awareness of the diversity in Team Members and clients.