Accessibility Through Design

June 30, 2020
Philip Buultjens

There are over 4.4 million people in Australia who have some form of disability; creating accessible experiences that account for this number of people is crucial in today’s digital era. We want you to learn about the importance of accessible design, the value it will bring to your business, and how to make your products more accessible for a wider range of people.

Part I

Accessibility design is a vital part of your business or organisation. Out of the 4.4 million Australians who have a disability, 1.4 million people are categorised as having severe or profound disabilities. When breaking this statistic down to a percentage we can start to understand the significance of the situation: 20% of Australians have a disability. The Australian Human Rights Commission found that people with a disability are three times more likely to avoid an organisation that fails to meet accessibility requirements. Furthermore, 1 in 3 people with disabilities reported that their customers’ needs were not met with the most common situations pertaining to retail shops and banks.

Out of the 4.4 million Australians who have a form of disability, 1.4 million people are categorised as having severe or profound disabilities


From a moral, business and practical standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to alienate this diverse demographic of customers, of users, of people.


Legal recourse in the USA shows us the stark reality companies may face if their services do not support people with disabilities. Since 2018, the amount of lawsuits due to inaccessible design have risen dramatically by 8.8%; this is extremely telling for the very near future and is something every business and organisation should carefully consider when getting their digital products constructed and updated.

People with a disability are three times more likely to avoid an organisation that fails to meet accessibility requirements


Within the 29 years people have had access to the internet, think about all the new technology that has been created. Most of them have one of many flawed features that do not account for accessibility requirements, which unearths a plethora of constantly evolving questions, including: How can people use a given device with certain visual, auditory or mental impairments? How can people be sure they have utilised the correct service or purchased the desired product? List is as big as the internet itself.

1 in 3 people with disabilities reported that their customers’ needs were not met with the most common situations pertaining to retail shops and banks.


If our past experiences construct our present reality, then for a majority of people it becomes easy to not have to think about sensory challenges, especially on our computers or handheld devices which have become almost part of our bodies and brains. Utilising empathy as a design tool, coupled with research dedicated to these demographics, unpacks these challenges from a pertinent viewpoint and has the ability to create solutions that tackle these pervasive problems in a way that can resonate with those in need. There is increasingly a case for all businesses and organisations to spend the time conducting an accessibility audit of their current products and services and further enhance their offerings. How do you go about it? Stay tuned for more.

Interested in working together?

Let's chat.

get in touch