New research from Infosys reveals a digital inclusion gap among New Zealand organisations

New Zealand organisations were leading with 62% at the ‘Adopter phase’ compared to just 47% in Australia.

December 03, 2021 12:12 IST | India Infoline News Service
On International Day of People with Disability, Infosys has released a first-of its kind report: Exploring digital accessibility priorities and investments in Australia and New Zealand organisations.

The study assessed for the first time, how far 670 organisations across Australia (570) and New Zealand (100) are on their digital accessibility journey. It found, when it comes to digital accessibility adoption, like creating screen-reader friendly websites or adding subtitles to audio-visual media, New Zealand organisations are more advanced than their Australian counterparts.

The company said in a filing on Friday that from least to more advanced in their digital accessibility journey, we found that in New Zealand:
4% of organizations are in an Emerging phase with no or minimal progress to date
32% of organisations are in the Explorer phase, still in the early stages of building digital inclusive processes
Almost two-thirds (62%) of organisations are in the Adopter phase of their journey with established digital accessibility strategies
Only 2% of organisations are Trailblazers, ahead of the curve with embedding digital accessibility consistently across their organisation

New Zealand organisations were leading with 62% at the ‘Adopter phase’ compared to just 47% in Australia. It follows the New Zealand government’s recent announcement of planned reforms to introduce the New Zealand Accessibility Act, a new Ministry for people with disability and collaboration programs between NGOs and the NEW ZEALAND government.

Overall, disability access groups are calling on organisations to lift their digital accessibility standards, with the new data revealing almost half are yet to make any inclusive improvements to online touchpoints for customers and employees or are only at the infancy of development.

The research found public sector was behind private organisations when it came to online inclusion, despite pandemic-induced advances. The survey also found nearly three in five (59%) businesses believe that digital accessibility will only become widespread once it becomes legislated.

Access Advisors’, New Zealand, Managing Director, Dr Chandra Harrison said “Businesses need to recognise they’re effectively cutting off a quarter of the population by not embedding accessibility in all their digital platforms. They are also missing out on potential revenue, improved reputation, improved usability and reduced costs."

“This first of its kind research provides insight into the mindsets of organisations when it comes to digital inclusion. It clearly found those with a digital accessibility plan, strong internal leadership and responsibility were streets ahead of those currently tackling the challenge in an inconsistent way.”

Phil Turner, Managing Director of the Accessibility Tick in New Zealand, said “It’s important for organisations to build digital assets and services that are born accessible. The business case, ethical case, and social good case all support this. It is imperative that digital accessibility is considered at all phases of a digital project, starting with the fundamentals in the design phase.”

“It’s therefore essential that organisations understand how digital accessibility and design fit together. By actively thinking about inclusive design as part of your user interface and overall user experience, you can make a major impact before a line of code is written.”

At around 12. 15 pm, Infosys Ltd was trading at Rs1,764.45 per piece up by Rs16.2 or 0.93% from its previous closing of Rs1,748.25 per piece on the BSE.

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