According to the Nordic Welfare Centre, the various disability laws in the Scandinavian countries state that people with disabilities should be included in society and given the same rights as people without disabilities. While several visible disabilities are supported by measures such as wheelchair ramps, digital accessibility often does not include people with invisible disabilities. Invisible disabilities can be physical, mental and neurological disabilities that are not visible to the public, such as autism, dyslexia, illiteracy, blindness, etc.
Prejudice against invisible or hidden disabilities discourages people with disabilities from speaking up about their accessibility needs. Otherwise, they may fear discrimination on the basis of their disability, despite the fact that every individual has the right to be part of society, on an equal footing with others, and to make use of their democratic rights regardless of their ability.
Documents issued by companies and organisations that are not universally accessible are considered to discriminate against people with disabilities.
Effects of accessibility
We need a paradigm shift in addressing the digital accessibility challenges faced by people with disabilities. By shifting our focus from the social issues of the individual, to the issues of human rights violations.
Universal document accessibility promotes social inclusion and provides equal opportunities to people with disabilities. By providing accessible content, people with disabilities can regain their self-confidence and independence. People with disabilities have difficulty understanding important high-volume documents, such as bills and bank statements. Accessible content would obviate the invasion of privacy that occurs when these people with disabilities have to ask others to read the document.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people with disabilities to receive inaccessible documents. 10% of the population suffers from some form of reading disability. Companies and organisations that use inaccessible document solutions ultimately lose money because these documents are not easily understood by everyone.
Excluding monthly statements, for example, mortgage institutions report that only 18% of their digital content is actually viewed. If the content is inaccessible to people with disabilities, it is possible that only 8% of the bank’s customers access the content, as up to 10% of customers may not be able to view the content.
Businesses that do not offer digitally accessible content also risk legal action on the grounds of discrimination.
How AbleDocs can help you
Transform regular and recurring documents, such as letters, statements, invoices, bank statements, client notifications, passports, contracts, etc. into WCAG 2.1 AA and PDF/UA (ISO-14289-1) – and thus into universally accessible and compliant documents with AbleDocs’ ADStream.
ADStream is an automated API based on Machine Learning that integrates one’s documents with any existing organization’s workflow to optimize digital accessibility, without restructuring or changing the handling of the documents.
Files and documents are scanned and configured before being processed through ADStream, and then validated and tested to ensure their readability, usability and compatibility. The API synchronised file then transfers and sends the available files back into the system architecture.
ADStream understands the semantics, structure, content positioning, fonts, font sizes, imagery, etc. behind digital accessibility, and can quickly and programmatically process billions of records and documents. ADStream can handle an unlimited number of PDF pages every day, with its scalable and automated processing capabilities.
ADStream not only eliminates the need for the manual process and minimizes the cost and time consuming processes. By standardising the information technology available, ADStream also protects businesses and organisations – which regularly send out high-volume documents – from prosecution and guarantees that document handling is legal.