Web accessibility is about participation on equal terms
As an increasing part of all purchases made and services used are done online, the need for inclusive and accessible digital services grows. Working together with the Funka organization, If has embarked on the ambitious journey of making websites in the Nordic and Baltic countries accessible to all, according to Ida Sundborg and Maria Ström.
The project started in early 2019, when a team was assembled to begin working towards the achievement of a new, ambitious standard for digital accessibility at If by autumn 2020. Ida Sundborg, Corporate UX Designer at If, has been responsible for the initiative:
‘We want to be able to provide our services to everyone in society, regardless of sensory, motoric or cognitive abilities. Therefore, it makes sense for us to ensure that our most important digital services are broadly accessible – not just as a business, but also as a responsible actor in society. In addition, we know from experience that efforts toward making services more accessible have a tendency to make it easier for everyone’, she says.
‘Web accessibility is essentially about everyone being able to participate in society on equal terms. Since we’re encouraged as citizens and clients to engage in online interaction, it is becoming increasingly important for companies and organizations to take their share of responsibility to make services accessible’, says Maria Ström, UX Designer and project leader at Funka.
Funka is an organization with specialists in all the different aspects of digital accessibility – digital interfaces of content, design and technology, web and mobile applications, and documents in all possible formats. Since last year, Funka has also been a collaborative partner for If as part of its new accessibility project.
Since the project was launched, If’s Accessibility team and Funka’s experts have conducted a series of informational courses in accessibility for UX designers, developers and web editors at If. All in all, hundreds of employees in the Nordic and Baltic countries have undergone target-specific training.
‘This project is, of course, a welcome development from our standpoint. We’re hoping that more companies will want to reboot and start working more strategically with digital accessibility. All consumers should have the same opportunities to choose a bank or insurance company without being excluded, as is often the case today’, says Maria Ström.