If you don’t know, now you know: The product and engineering teams at PhotoShelter for Brands have partnered with UsableNet, the leading web accessibility provider, to make our public-facing Portal fully compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 AA.
A harsh truth: Creating and consuming digital content should be accessible to everyone, but unfortunately, the world wide web still isn’t a particularly welcoming place for people with a wide range of disabilities in 2022.
Despite the fact that 15% of the world’s population—over 1 billion people globally—live with a disability, they’re the world’s largest historically minoritized group (and that’s even more so apparent online).
The internet is vast and expansive, so this issue can seem impossible to tackle.
But it gets better!
In 1997, the Web Access Initiative was a movement spawned by compassionate technocrats to ensure that no persons with disabilities would be discriminated against online. They developed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which were most recently updated in 2018. It has four basic principles that anyone who publishes digital content can measure its compliance against. It’s simple. Web content must be: perceivable, understandable, operable, and robust, and now we’re making sure every part of our platform meets those standards.
Staying true to our core value of helping creative people thrive, we’re upgrading the entire PhotoShelter for Brands platform to be more inclusive and fully accessible to users of all abilities—starting with Portals.
With the combined power of UsableNet, an expert web accessibility service provider that operates with heart and a human face, and our incredibly helpful clients, we’ve now added accessibility features to PhotoShelter for Brands Portals to ensure both internal content creators and fans with disabilities can use, access, and share content with more autonomy.
What does Accessibility look like in the PhotoShelter for Brands platform?
Right now, accessibility features that are usable on PhotoShelter for Brands Portals include:
- Screen reader compatibility
- Full keyboard tabulation and selection functionality
Here’s a preview of a PhotoShelter for Brands Portal with accessibility features enabled:
This is how a person using accessibility in a PhotoShelter for Brands Portal would tabulate and select features with their keyboard and/or mouse functionality.
Why is PhotoShelter Investing in Accessibility Now?
If you’re on social media, there’s no denying the popularity of content that is fully accessible. TikTok video content that features audio and text captions, Instagram Reels that auto-transcribe any verbal audio featured in a shared clip— the list goes on. Prominent organizations like the United States government, Adobe, and Shondaland are even providing tips on how to create and share more accessible content.
The reason accessible content is popular on social media is obvious: the more people that are able to interact with the content, the more people will.
Makes sense, right? Well, now the business sector is making it a point to provide individuals with disabilities enriched, and appropriate user experiences, as well.
According to a Forrester expert reporter covering the accessibility space:
“More companies than ever before have executive-level commitments to accessibility. Our last annual survey of design teams found that 36% of companies have a top-down commitment to creating accessible digital experiences, up 5% from a year prior. And in the absence of formal commitment from the top, grassroots efforts driven by passionate employees are making it happen at 48% of companies.”Senem Guler Biyikli, Researcher and Gina Bhawalkar, Primary Analyst
If you want to help your employees with disabilities thrive at work or if you wish to provide frictionless access to brand fans with disabilities, reach out to a PhotoShelter team member today.