Adam Spencer Explains How Document Accessibility Helps Organizations Reach All of Their Customers

In order to be successful, organizations must be inclusive. Most commonly, this includes providing products and services that satisfy various tastes and requirements. However, with technology prevalent in the lives of consumers around the world, it’s also important that businesses consider how the digital content they publish is consumed. From their website to online articles, digital advertisements to videos, companies should ensure that their content is optimized for accessibility. Doing so will allow them to reach all of their customers and to grow their business.

Adam Spencer of Oakville, Ontario, is an advocate for inclusivity, focusing his efforts on document accessibility. As one of the top international experts in PDF and PDF accessibility technologies, Adam has been an influential member of the standards authoring community for eight years. He contributes to ISO 32000–1/2 and ISO 14289–1/2, helping the International Organization for Standardization offer enhancements for document accessibility. In addition, Spencer is the vice chair of the Standards Council of Canada for PDF and PDF accessibility. Through his various endeavours, and as president of AbleDocs, Adam strives to evolve the PDF accessibility industry with the help of investment and the development of innovative new approaches. He explains why document accessibility is essential and how it can help organizations reach all their customers.

Woman in a meeting looking at a flat computer monitor that reads, “Designers should always keep their users in mind”.

Inclusivity

For most people, reading through a document or filling out an online form is quick and easy. However, for many others, these undertakings are not so simple. Filling out a form might be nearly impossible if its fields are not optimized for a screen reader. Even reading through a document or email could pose a challenge if the content is not designed to be accessible. For those with limited vision and blindness, this is a common issue.

When an aspect of a website is not user-friendly, site visitors will leave. The same is true for content that is not optimized for those with impairments. As Adam Spencer notes, without the ability to effectively use a screen reader, digital information will be frustrating to consume. As a result, consumers will more than likely abandon the content. This is why creating accessible content is so important. Organizations that do not provide accessible information may miss out on new clients and even create a lasting negative impression with current customers. For those businesses that do take the time to create accessible information, many benefits are experienced. Namely, the ability to interact with all of their current customers and clients, as well as a wide range of potential customers.

In addition to those with visual impairments, accessible content can also help businesses reach consumers that use screen readers for other reasons (for example, consumers whose first language isn’t English and therefore prefer to have content read aloud). As well as allowing a business to reach more people, creating accessible content is also helpful to search engine optimization, resulting in increased traffic and an even wider reach.

Adam Spencer Explains How to Make Content Accessible

Adam Spencer suggests that, when creating accessible content, developers should imagine themselves hearing what is on the screen rather than seeing it. Consider what information would be helpful to know about the visual aspects of your content and what details would assist users in navigating the information. Creating an accessible document in this way can help ensure that your content is effectively optimized for all to consume, allowing you to share your message with a wide range of people.

Above all, creating content that allows everyone an equal opportunity to consume it is the right thing to do. Accessibility features reflect positively on an organization and show that the needs of consumers are important to them.

Adam Spencer from Oakville, Ontario, is the CEO and Founder of Able Docs. AbleDocs specializes in document and electronic accessibility.