While 82% of workers with disabilities say software is important to doing their jobs effectively, nearly half, 45%, said current accessibility features are insufficient.
A study by Capterra found that the record 7.8 million disabled employees in the workforce along, along with the increase in digital workspaces, has pushed the importance of software accessibility to new heights.
A notable 57% of employees with disabilities said that without tailored accommodations or accessibility features, it can be difficult to navigate their job’s software. For workers with blindness or low vision, the figure jumps to 67%.
Challenges and Opportunities
Capterra found that while employers tend to do well with disability accommodations, vendors have work to do. Nearly all disabled employees who use employer-provided accommodations, 93%, reported their accommodations were good or excellent. However, 38% rated the quality of their software’s accessibility features as only fair or poor.
“With the number of employees with a disability at an all-time high, it’s time companies move past compliance into inclusion for this community — and that extends to software,” said Brian Westfall, principal HR analyst at Capterra. “It’s going to take software buyers demanding accessibility for software vendors to start prioritizing it in their products.” However, he added, improving benefits everyone. “Even employees without a disability can make use of features to customize systems to their preferences and be more productive,” Westfall said.
It follows, then, that most workers with a disability, 76%, agreed that employers should prioritize accessibility more when purchasing software in the future.
Employees with an intellectual, developmental or learning disability, 53%, were the most likely to rate the amount of accessibility features as fair or poor. Those with blindness or low vision were most likely to rate the quality of features as fair or poor (46%).
Some 77% agreed that the advancement of AI will help them be more productive at their job.