Lockdown has highlighted a number of issues, but in particular the impact on the public having to change to online shopping and ordering, even for local stores. With 70% of UK websites inaccessible to disabled and impaired people, affecting a staggering 34m people, UK businesses alone are losing a potential £17bn of business a year. This figure will not only have been higher during lockdown but highlights the additional limitations and restrictions that differently abled people will have faced. Many who will have been shielding at home. Callum Gamble and Caren Launus-Gamble have a solution that could help thousands of people.
Callum Gamble and his mum Caren launched digital agency KreativeInc Agency in 2019 after Callum lost his first job only 3wks after starting it due to his autism. They have campaigned since for neurodiversity to be recognised in the workplace and are now highlighting that companies need to make websites more accessible for differently abled people too. As Caren explains, ‘our goal setting up KreativeInc was to integrate the challenges of Asperger’s and other neurodivergent conditions into a successful digital business and improving digital inclusion and neurodiversity in the workplace within the UK. We believe in challenging the status quo. Our vision is to make the digital landscape fully accessible to people with sight, hearing, cognitive, motor and other impairments within the next five years. This includes making websites more user friendly and opening up a new market to many businesses.’
Callum himself faces a number of challenges accessing websites and has been looking for solutions to benefit both himself and other people with autism too. Through doing this research he has discovered how many other disabilities are affected and has now found a solution. He states ‘it is not just people with autism, but people with dyslexia, colour-blindness and epilepsy that are all affected. Many abandon attempts to use websites finding it so frustrating, so I knew there had to be a solution. Personally, I struggle with large blocks of text and the colour of some writing.
Discovering an AI tool called AccessiBe has transformed this and completely changed my access to many websites. There are five key features on the software that help which include emphasizing titles and links, magnifying text, hiding distracting images and emphasizing focus. I am passionate not only about creating our own websites but making other sites accessible to disabled and impaired people’.
With a deadline for public services to make their websites accessible for people with disabilities by 23 September this year, and Apps by September next year, there is no such deadline for corporate and business websites. Caren and Callum are therefore promoting AccessiBe through their own company and hope to raise awareness of its availability.
Installing the AccessiBe fully automated artificial intelligence software via one line of code on a website transforms it into a digital platform that is compliant with worldwide legislation within 48 hours of installation. The AI functionality scans the website’s code and fixes any accessibility errors automatically. This process is repeated every 24 hours. AccessiBe customers receive a website accessibility statement and certification for their site as well as monthly compliance audits. The software also offers a visible, straightforward user interface with content, display and functionality modification options that allow the user to adjust the site to their specific requirements on entering it.
Since its full launch in February 2019, the software is installed in more than 38,000 websites across the World. Among its customers are high-profile companies in the US such as Hilton, Lotus, Playmobil and Barilla, to name a few. Although there are other technological solutions on the market, they combine elements of technology and manual adjustments, making them less cost-effective and efficient. The AI technology of the AccessiBe software makes it currently the only fully automated solution in the accessibility industry for full compliance.
Callum has even created a video to show people how effective and easy to use the software is.