Embarking on your Adoption and Change Management (ACM) project means you have made a significant commitment to focus on the people in your organization and to put them at the center of your desired changes. At SoftwareONE, we see this as the perfect opportunity to build digital inclusion and accessibility into the culture of your organization. It is estimated that more than 1 billion people (15% of the world’s population) are living with permanent disabilities, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an even higher percentage, with 1 in 4 adults (26%) in the United States having some type of disability. It’s safe to say that every organization has accessibility needs, either for its own staff or for its customers.
This means that every day, over 1 billion people are encountering discrepancies between their abilities and their environments. Because your organization is responsible for some of these environments, these discrepancies could be preventing you from getting the most out of some incredible people.
It is estimated that more than 70% of disabilities are "invisible" and more often than not, employees do not disclose them to their employers. All too often, the right tools are not provided unless they are requested, and making such a request would inadvertently lead to the disclosure of the disability, not just to HR but also to the department responsible for providing the tools. Some employees may feel that revealing something so personal will make them seem vulnerable or less capable of doing their jobs. Consequently, they may end up having to work longer or harder than others to complete their tasks.
There are many types of disabilities to consider when determining a plan for digital inclusion and accessibility within your organization, including mobility, vision, hearing, neurodiversity, mental health, learning and cognition. An organization that is actively more inclusive by embracing best practices for employing and supporting persons with disabilities in the workplace tends to better attract and retain top talent.
With technology leaders building digital inclusion and accessibility features into their products as standard, many organizations now have a wealth of tools and functionalities at their disposal. However, it takes more than technology to change habits, and for some organizations, a complete culture change may be required. This is where ACM delivers by bridging the gap between technology projects and the people expected to use the technology.