Join Gordon McCullough CEO of RiDC for our Accessibility Webinar

By Heidi McCullough

Read time - 4 mins

A Key Focus on Accessibility

Zesty believes in an equal web experience for all. So, we’re excited to be hosting a webinar on Thursday 29th September at 10 am GMT to help revolutionise the web experience and make it accessible to everyone.

In line with the new WCAG 2.2 updates, our head of accessibility at Zesty will share what you can do to remain in line with legislation. This will provide your website users with the best possible experience.

Our guest speaker is Gordon McCullough, CEO of the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC). The London-based RiDC put the views and experiences of disabled consumers and older people in front of companies who want to make their products and services more inclusive.

Ahead of the webinar, Gordon walks us through the RiDC’s work in this guest post. Learn how your business can start to include people of all abilities today…

The RiDC

logo of the research institute for disabled consumers

At the core, our organisation is a UK-wide panel of disabled and older consumers. With over 3,500 members, it is the most extensive pan-disability, a multi-background panel in the UK. Our members share one common purpose: to make products and services more accessible. The panel is open to anyone who may identify as disabled, living with physical or mental health conditions, and older people.

Why it’s important

Our members’ profiles represent groups that are largely ignored by many companies’ websites and digital marketing initiatives. But attitudes are changing.

We have never been busier, and the number of organisations approaching us is increasing. I have a theory that since the COVID-19 restrictions, people who, under normal circumstances, could do whatever and go wherever they wanted started to understand what it was like to have a choice taken away.

The tension between choice and compromise is a feature of many disabled people’s daily lives, and I think companies got first-hand experience of that during the lockdown. It is just a theory, but there is growing momentum behind making products and services more accessible.

And why not? It makes better business sense to ensure everyone is included in the reach of a product or service. If there is a single message, I would give anyone it is don’t make assumptions and listen to and involve disabled people right at the very beginning of our inclusivity journey.

Many of our clients speak about a ‘lightbulb moment’ in the research process, often after interviews with our panel or a focus group. ‘I never thought of that’, or ‘it has given me a totally new perspective’. They can have these realisations because they are witnessing the experience of the disabled customer first-hand. It’s a whole new take on your customer journey, and it comes from listening and caring about the answers.

What it means for business

The RiDC’s services can substantially extend a company’s reach. A more accessible digital experience gives access to a fifth of the population who might not have been able to use a product or service because it was inaccessible. Also, if the views of disabled and older people are incorporated earlier, expensive redevelopment of products and services can be avoided.

A 2019-20 study conducted by WebAIM, a well-known accessibility not-for-profit, found that over 98% of the world’s top one million websites don’t offer a fully accessible experience. From a financial perspective, only 2% of eCommerce websites or those with paid advertising are truly capitalising on the $1.2 trillion in annual spending power of the disabled population.

Setting the example

Everyone from exciting startups with a new product, to government departments creating new initiatives, reach out to us for help with disabled user testing and research. The RiDC also has a strong track record of providing our unique insights to global and local businesses alike – Network Rail, Arriva, O2, Kelloggs, Unilever, and Channel 4 to name a few.

Why not join them, by joining us?

Attend on Thursday 29th September at 10 am GMT for a thought-provoking hour that will inspire your leadership and design teams to make real changes in your next website and business practices. You’ll learn the exact steps for how to make your digital presence more accessible, and what it could mean for your company’s future. You can also get in touch with Gordon to engage the RiDC on your next project.

Registration

To register a free place for the accessibility webinar, please CLICK HERE