From our jobs to our personal lives, we are constantly connected to the Internet. It’s where we do business, find entertainment, and socialize with our friends. If you think about it, how much of your life would come to a halt if you didn’t have access to the online world? Yet for many disabled individuals, that is reality.
Vice President of User1st, Shawn Pike, is on the frontlines of the challenging battle of making the world wide web accessible to individuals whose limitations make the Internet hard to navigate.
“[We live in] a constantly evolving digital world where everyday services are moving online,” Pike said. “The ability for people to get that assistance they need to do very simple things on a daily basis is tricky. We take the physical challenges of accessibility and apply it to a website or web property as if it were a building that doesn’t have a ramp or doesn’t have accommodations.”
What is User1st, Exactly?
User1st is a software company dedicated to make the world wide web accessible to the disabled community. Comprised of a diverse team of programmers, developers, academics, legal experts, and social activists, they work with clients to help make their website user-friendly for everyone.
Their software tackles various challenges—from viewing difficulties to physical limitations that make clicking and navigating a site impossible—and adapt the user experience to meet these needs.
“We build out custom risk mitigation plans for every engagement that align with the organizational priorities,” Pike explained. “This is often very impactful for them because everyone gets a different road map and a different plan. They need it. Everyone’s website is different, everyone’s web properties are different, and everyone’s organization is different so it’s very hard to treat them all the same.”
Utilizing cloud-based remediation and intuitive plugins, integrations, and design, User1st sets themselves apart with a software that is easy to use and continuously monitored for efficiency.
As many companies begin to realize the digital challenges faced by their disabled client base, they are beginning to adopt User1st’s solutions in an effort to reach accessibility compliance and make navigating their products and services easier for those with physical challenges.
The results are life-changing.
Eyes on the Future
User1st understands the value of their mission. Even though humankind is deep into its relationship with the Internet and the digital realm, there remains a wide gap in its accessibility.
“My hopes for the company are really the same as our mission statement,” Pike confessed. “We all believe in that mission here hardcore, and that’s bridging that gap. How do we accelerate the awareness and the adoption of web accessibility to serve people faster? I want to see our company become the transformative entity that pushes this issue to a new level. I hope we accelerate the cause because I think right now it’s going too slow to get to where it needs to be.”
How can you help bridge the gap? Many businesses are beginning to do their part by making their website more accessible to disabled users. Learn more about how you can make your online presence accessibility compliant at www.user1st.com.