Introduction

ACCESSIBILITY: WHAT IS ACCESSIBILITY IN CUSTOMER COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT? AND WHY IS IT CRITICAL THAT ORGANIZATIONS COMPLY?

Read more about accessibility in customer communications management, and what companies in the US, Canada & the UK should do to ensure compliance

ACCESSIBILITY: WHAT IS ACCESSIBILITY IN CUSTOMER COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT? AND WHY IS IT CRITICAL THAT ORGANIZATIONS COMPLY?

Accessibility is both a regulatory requirement and a commercial advantage

Various regulatory deadlines are looming for organizations to ensure that their services and communications are accessible to people with disabilities. Part of the requirement for accessible communication, is that any document, web page or form that an organization shares with its customers, needs to be easy to consume by a person with disabilities.

Read on to find out more about accessibility in customer communications management, why it is relevant and what companies in the US, Canada and the UK need to do to ensure they are compliant with the relevant regulations.

Accessibility in digital banking

What is accessibility in customer communications management?

Accessibility in CCM refers to how easily a recipient with a physical impairment or learning disability can access or consume information. Regardless of whether it is contained on an organization’s portal or web page; in an email or text; or in a document that is presented online.

According to the US definition, accessibility requires that all people, without discrimination, have access to “the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation.”

What is the definition of disability?

Countries such as the USA, Canada and the UK have slightly different definitions of disability, and it’s important to understand these, so that your organization can ensure it provides for regional requirements.

Here are the official definitions:

Businessman,Hand,Working,With,Finances,About,Cost,And,Calculator,And

Organizations must provide for impairment types and ability levels

Organizations must cater for different disabilities grouped according to visual, auditory, cognitive, and motor impairments. Furthermore, allowances must be made for a range of abilities within each.

  • Visual impairments range from low or partial vision to blindness
  • Auditory disabilities range from low hearing to deafness
  • Motor or mobility challenges are physical impairments that result from conditions, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy
  • Cognitive impairments relate to difficulty in processing information, such as dyslexia and autism

Accessibility is increasingly a regulatory requirement

Accessibility is already a legal requirement in many countries, either by specific legislation, or as part of non-discrimination law. Existing laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender or race also ban discrimination against people living with disabilities.

Here is some insight into the accessibility laws in the US, Canada and UK:

Accessibility is a commercial necessity

The motivation to achieve accessibility goes beyond just ensuring regulatory compliance. It is also about successfully achieving customer engagement through transactional or marketing communications.

When an organization’s digital assets are not accessible, the information they share is not reaching a significant portion of their customer base.

“Currently around 10% of the world's population, or roughly 650 million people, live with a disability. In most of the OECD countries, females have higher rates of disability than males”.

- Disabled World

Here are the population statistics for people living with a disability in the US, Canada and UK:

Organizations must provide for impairment types and ability levels

Organizations must cater for different disabilities grouped according to visual, auditory, cognitive, and motor impairments. Furthermore, allowances must be made for a range of abilities within each.

  • Visual impairments range from low or partial vision to blindness
  • Auditory disabilities range from low hearing to deafness
  • Motor or mobility challenges are physical impairments that result from conditions, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy
  • Cognitive impairments relate to difficulty in processing information, such as dyslexia and autism

Accessibility in CCM

In general, accessibility requirements extend to any service or communication that is provided by an organization to its customers. This includes physical service centers, branches, shops, malls and so on.

When it comes to Customer Communications Management, organizations must strive for accessibility in any communications that are physically delivered or mailed to customers – such as printed statements, bills, collections notices, payment notifications, etc.

In addition, all digital properties such as documents, communications via email or text, as well as websites and mobile apps (which in the US are considered “places of public accommodation”) must be accessibility compliant.

When it comes to Customer Communications Management, transactional communications and documents, such as financial statements, bills, tax documents and others, that need to be produced on time and at scale for millions of recipients,  present one of the key challenges when it comes to ensuring accessible communications.

To ensure such CCM solutions are compliant, organizations need a technology partner capable of providing a variety of compliant formats, reliably and in a cost-effective way.

get-customers-to-go-paperless

Download Doxim’s CCM Accessibility Feature Sheet

Doxim CCM solutions for accessibility compliant communications

To achieve the required levels of accessibility in customer communications management, organizations need a technology partner with a CCM platform capable of providing a variety of compliant communication formats, reliably and in a cost-effective way.

Let Doxim’s experienced CCM team assist in getting your emails, portal pages, landing pages and customer documents fully compliant with accessibility standards.

We follow a simple process:

  1. Audit all customer communication to determine accessibility
  2. Identify the most important communications and redesign for accessibility
  3. Map the balance of communications onto an accessibility compliance plan with timelines

Doxim offers an all-in-one partnership to help clients create accessible customer communications. Our team understands accessibility requirements, can assist with relevant advice and expertise and our platform produces accessible communications on time and at scale for millions of recipients.

Book A Consultation To Learn More