In this episode of SaaS Connect by Cloud Software Association, Shilpi Kapoor, CEO of BarrierBreak, discusses how SaaS can make business accessible to everyone — even those with disabilities, and why that’s important.
BarrierBreak is an accessibility consulting firm that provides end-to-end accessibility solutions for SaaS companies, whether it is doing a one-time audit on your product, or creating dedicated teams of accessibility professionals that work with you and your teams.
The discussion includes the following points:
- What is digital accessibility, and why it matters.
- How we tend to think about disabilities and people living with disabilities. For example, we often consider people with disabilities as a permanent condition, but what about when someone breaks their arm, it’s in a cast for six weeks, and they can’t do their work? Or situationally, for example, when you are driving and you can’t use your hands to access your mobile phone’s map app to use it as it should be used. It is critical for manufacturers to consider the accessibility of their products.
- When you work with a company that is talking about being an equal opportunity employer, and if their systems aren’t going to be accessible, then how are they going to be an equal opportunity employer?
- Digital accessibility for an inclusive culture needs to incorporate the following:
- Making your own products accessible.
- Digital accessibility for your partner network.
- Digitally accessible processes.
- Communication internally and externally; it makes good business sense to communicate that your company has a culture of inclusivity.
- A lot of technology was created for people with disabilities, but ended up being used by all. For example, word prediction on your phone was initially developed for people with dyslexia, but we all end up using it because it makes our lives easier.
- Framework for inclusivity:
- Define your accessibility vision
- Take stock and prioritize
- Identify skills, resources, and partners
- Conduct accessibility audits
- Embed accessibility into processes
- Create VPATs for products
- Monitor progress
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