Digital Accessibility Matters

Headshot of Lisa Matthews

Senior Content Designer

4 minute read

In today’s interconnected digital age, websites and apps are essential parts of our daily lives. Here's why organisations should prioritise accessibility for their digital products and services.

Why digital accessibility matters

In today’s interconnected digital age, websites and apps are essential parts of our daily lives. Whether it’s doing the weekly shop, catching up with the news, or chatting with friends and family, we rely heavily on digital tools. But have you ever thought about how accessible these digital platforms are?

Accessibility in digital design simply means making sure that everyone, including people with disabilities, can use digital products and services. Here’s why accessibility – or “a11y” as it sometimes goes by – is so important.

Equal access for everyone

Imagine trying to use a website if you couldn’t see well, hear properly, had difficulty using a mouse or keyboard or couldn’t find your way around it due to dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD, or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). For many people, this is a daily challenge - indeed it's estimated that disabled people are over 50% more likely to face barriers to accessing digital and online services than non-disabled people.

Accessibility ensures that all users, regardless of their abilities, can navigate and interact with digital content. This isn’t just about compliance or checking a stack of tick boxes; it’s about ensuring everyone has equal access to information and services.

Enhancing user experience (UX) accessibility

Investing in digital accessibility isn’t just great for people with disabilities. By focusing on clear, simple, and user-friendly UX-designed websites and apps, we enhance the experience for everyone. For example, video captions are useful not only for those who are deaf or hard of hearing but also for people in noisy environments, or those who prefer reading over listening. Similarly, clear, and concise language helps everyone understand content more easily. During a busy day juggling life and work challenges, everyone’s cognitive load ebbs and flows.

An interaction that one person finds challenging; another may do with ease. Neurodiverse people can become overwhelmed quickly by the sheer amount of content available to us. All the options and configurations can feel like being dropped into the middle of a huge shopping centre or football match. It’s deafening, it’s disconcerting and it happens to different levels at different times. What is seamless one day for a ND person, can be almost impossible the next. There’s a lot of masking and working around. So, why wouldn’t you help your users, customers or partners with accessible design and development? It makes great business sense too to make your digital assets and services accessible to as many people are possible.

Legal obligations and standards

Many countries have laws and regulations requiring digital content to be accessible. For instance, in the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that websites must be accessible to people with disabilities. Similarly, the European Accessibility Act (EAA), which comes into effect in 2025, mandates that businesses operating within the European Union must ensure that their products and services (both physical and digital) are accessible. Failing to comply with these laws can lead to lawsuits, fines, and damage to a company’s reputation. By prioritising accessibility, organisations can ensure they are complying legally and also demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity.

Improving SEO and reach

Accessible websites are often better optimised for search engines. Features that improve accessibility, like descriptive alt text for images and proper heading structures, also help search engines understand and rank your content. This means that making your site accessible can also boost your visibility and reach a wider audience. In other words, what’s good for accessibility is also good for business.

Promoting social responsibility

In a world that’s increasingly aware of social issues, demonstrating a commitment to accessibility shows that your organisation values inclusivity and diversity. It’s a way to show that you care about all your users and are willing to take steps to make sure everyone can access your services. This not only builds trust and loyalty among your users but also sets a positive example for other organisations to follow.

Adapting to technological advances

As technology evolves, so do the ways people interact with digital content. New devices and interfaces, such as voice-activated assistants and virtual reality, require us to think differently about accessibility. By embedding accessibility into the core of your digital design process, you ensure that your content remains usable and relevant as recent technologies emerge.

Practical tips for accessible design

1. Use Clear and Simple Language: Write in a way that’s easy to understand. Avoid jargon and complex sentences. This helps everyone, including those with cognitive disabilities or those who speak English as a second language.

2. Provide Text Alternatives: Always include alt text for images, transcripts for audio, and captions for videos. This ensures that people who cannot see or hear the content can still understand it.

3. Ensure Keyboard Accessibility: Make sure all interactive elements can be accessed and operated using a keyboard. Some users cannot use a mouse and rely on keyboard navigation.

4. Use Descriptive Headings and Labels: Clear headings and labels help users navigate content more easily and understand its structure. This is especially important for screen reader users.

5. Maintain a Logical Layout: Organise content in a way that makes sense. Group related items together and use whitespace effectively to avoid clutter.

6. Test with Real Users: Involve people with disabilities in your testing process. Their feedback is invaluable and can highlight issues you might not have considered


Accessibility in digital design isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity. It ensures that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can access and benefit from digital content. By focusing on accessibility, we create a more inclusive digital world, enhance the user experience for everyone, meet legal requirements, improve our SEO, and promote social responsibility. Remember, accessible design is useful design. By embedding accessibility into our workflows, we not only do the right thing but also create better more usable products for everyone.

To speak to us about accessibility and how we can help your organisation, please get in touch with us at: