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Ensure Information is Accessible to Those Who Need it on Global Accessibility Awareness Day #GAAD

Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)! What started with a single blog post by web developer Joe Devon back in 2011 has turned into an international event on the third Thursday of every May designed to get people talking, thinking, and learning about digital accessibility as well as users with different disabilities.

In the United States alone, more than 57 million citizens have a disability according to 2012 census data. On top of that, according to the Pew Internet Project, 54 percent of adults living with a disability go online. In the same way that our physical infrastructures need to accommodate and make lives easier for people with disabilities, so do our technologies.

As a winner of the Business Disability Forum 2014 Disability-smart award, we at AvePoint factor accessibility into our operations in many different ways. Not only do we make tools to help organizations ensure information systems are accessible, we also take steps to design our own products and information systems to meet accessibility requirements.

Our research and development team ensures that all products are created with accessibility as a fundamental and mandatory design tenet. By combining company-wide education initiatives with practical work, our developers create and check all products existing and new with accessibility statutes in mind. AvePoint solutions meet basic accessibility guidelines so that all customers, including those who are disabled, can take full advantage of our product offering.

Tools to Help Ensure Accessibility

From free solutions to enterprise compliance management platforms, AvePoint has solutions that can enable your organization to ensure information accessibility across the board – whether it’s through external web properties or internal social collaboration technologies.

A free educational tool that you can begin using right now, Compliance Detector tests web pages quickly in order to report on accessibility violations for any URL. Through Compliance Detector’s browser-based interface, individuals can type any valid website URL from anywhere, even on their mobile device, to test for accessibility compliance. In order to optimize website quality, Compliance Detector can be integrated into web developer toolbars to scan for web page accessibility compliance directly from Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome browsers.

AvePoint Compliance Guardian enables companies to establish an effective compliance and risk management process to ensure that information is available and accessible to the people who should have it and protected from the people who should not. As a full data loss prevention as well as governance risk and compliance platform, Compliance Guardian mitigates accessibility compliance risks across enterprises’ multiple information gateways – including on-premises or cloud-based file shares, Microsoft SharePoint, websites, instant messaging tools, databases, and social collaboration platforms – with a comprehensive risk management process allowing organizations to document their policies, implement and measure them, and demonstrate conformance. Through AvePoint Online Services, the product is also available as a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering with Compliance Guardian Online.

Case Study with the Business Disability Forum

An organization built around supporting accessibility in the workplace, London’s Business Disability Forum (BDF) makes it easier and more rewarding to do business with and employ disabled people. One of the services BDF provides its members and partners is access to prompt, free, and confidential advice from a team of expert disability consultants. As a part of this service, BDF offers auditing services and best practices to ensure members meet specific standards in online recruitment activities, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), produced by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Using Compliance Guardian Online, was able to simplify and automate its process for measuring the accessibility of websites by:

  • Auditing web applications, websites, and cloud platforms for accessibility violations and delivered detailed reports to advise members and partners faster than before
  • Simultaneously carrying out auditing and reporting processes on multiple sites automatically, allowing staff to work on other assignments while audits were underway
  • Eliminating IT complexity by utilizing a cloud-based solution with no additional hardware or software needed

To learn more about how Compliance Guardian Online met the BDF’s accessibility compliance needs, please read our full case study.

Make Accessibility a Priority for Your Organization

With a combination of education and technology, your organization can ensure its own information systems are accessible to those with disabilities – making a positive impact on the lives of both employees and customers alike. To learn more about GAAD, accessibility, and events taking place to spread awareness, please visit the official website.

Want to learn more about how AvePoint can help your organization overcome its accessibility challenges? Visit our website and contact us today!

Dana S.
Dana S.
Dana Louise Simberkoff is the Chief Risk, Privacy and Information Security Officer at AvePoint. She is responsible for AvePoint’s privacy, data protection, and security programs. She manages a global team of subject matter experts that provide executive level consulting, research, and analytical support on current and upcoming industry trends, technology, standards, best practices, concepts, and solutions for risk management and compliance. Ms. Simberkoff is responsible for maintaining relationships with executive management and multiple constituencies both internal and external to the corporation, providing guidance on product direction, technology enhancements, customer challenges, and market opportunities. Ms. Simberkoff has led speaking sessions at data privacy and security events around the globe. She was featured in Forbes, writes a monthly column for CMSWire, and was highlighted in the CSO Online list of “12 Amazing Women in Security”. She is a current member of the Women Leading Privacy Advisory Board and a past member of the Education Advisory Board for the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Ms. Simberkoff holds a BA from Dartmouth College and a JD from Suffolk University Law School. LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/danalouisesimberkoff/en Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/danalouise

1 COMMENT

  1. Great post, it is really exciting to see accessibility gaining so much attention. When I was studying design in college, I learned that accessible design was not just for being inclusive toward the disabled (reason enough as is) but also turns out to be good design for everyone. When surfing the web, I think about my color blind friends (as much as 10% of the population), but even in the physical world accessible design benefits everyone. For example, wheelchair ramps and sidewalk curb ramps are necessary for those in wheelchairs but also benefit: parents with strollers, movers and delivery, people carrying heavy objects, the elderly, children on scooters and so many more. Inclusive and accessible design benefits everyone, and turns out to be simple good design.

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