Designing for Accessibility Drives Innovation

It was 19th-century Italy. Sighted Pellegrino Turri and blind Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzano wanted to send each other secret love letters, but this was before the development of Braille. Other blind people dictated their letters for sighted people to transcribe, but the countess couldn’t do that.

So, the lovers came up with a tactile solution: one of the first working typewriters. By treating blindness as a design challenge, they developed a revolutionary method for producing print by touch. Now, millions of us create similar letters digitally through the touch of a key — and some of the fastest typists are touch typists.

Genesys Widgets for Accessibility Offer WCAG 2.1 Level AA Support

By designing with accessibility in mind, Pellegrino solved an immediate practical user challenge, and also set the foundation for what later evolved into a standardized capability that many adopted. This is the mindset that allows modern technology brands to continuously innovate, particularly in the digital space.

Customers still want and need more personalized experiences. Genesys Widgets provide simple, complete functions – and they’ve become increasingly valuable for supporting web-accessible guidelines.

Genesys Widgets empowers businesses to quickly set up pre-built and customizable widgets on their websites, for personalized engagement over chat and other digital channels, where applicable.

Why Genesys Widgets Matter

In most countries, businesses that operate in government or provide a public service — public transportation, education, hotels, healthcare — typically are subject to strict accessibility requirements, specific to local regulations.

Genesys Widgets includes conformance to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 international guidelines. These enable businesses, including those based in the US, to provide the required level of web accessibility to their customers. You can read more details on WCAG (Level AA) and Section 508 online. And many other governments have published similar accessibility guidelines.

WCAG relies on four guiding principles for building accessible user interfaces:

  1. Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
  2. Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.
  3. Understandable – Information and the operation of user interfaces must be understandable.
  4. Robust – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

What’s New with Genesys Widgets

We’re releasing a new version of Genesys Widgets that adds support for web accessibility, following W3C specs for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, Level AA. We’ll follow WCAG specification, as this is an international standard that our customers worldwide have adopted and recognize.

The newly added support for WCAG 2.1 Level AA includes accessibility improvements like navigation through keyboard keys, compatibility with screen readers and more, as described by the W3C Specification. You can also download the corresponding Voluntary Product Accessibility Template® – VPAT® report.

Business Case for Digital Accessibility

W3C published a great article that explains the business value of “digital” accessibility, which goes beyond the regulatory need for compliance. The article examines the rationale for organizations to address accessibility, including tangible and intangible benefits, and the risks of not addressing accessibility adequately. It explores the value of accessibility to do the following.

  • Drive innovation – Accessibility features in products and services often solve unanticipated problems.
  • Enhance your brand – Diversity and inclusion efforts that are important to business success are accelerated with a clear, well-integrated commitment.
  • Extend market reach – The global market of people with disabilities is over 1 billion, with a spending power of more than $6 trillion. Accessibility often improves the online experience for all users.
  • Minimize legal risk – Many countries have laws that require digital accessibility; the issue is of increased legal concern.

Planning for accessibility is a great opportunity to improve brand recognition, customer experience and market reach. Get started now because ultimately, depending on the nature of your business, local regulations may require that you do so.

Review what’s new with Accessibility provided by Genesys Widgets.

Here are some other useful links:

VPAT® from Genesys 
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1
The Business Case for Digital Accessibility
List of country-specific policies