Digital workplace tools and intranets are being adopted by most industries to aid communication between employees spread across continents. As ‘internal’, ‘external’ and ‘remote’ become normal modes of work, businesses need to provide digital tools to facilitate the smooth running of the modern workplace.
But as many as one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, have some form of disability that affects their ability to use digital technology, according to World Bank.
And the number of people needing to access technology to do their job is increasing dramatically as businesses transform digitally. This means businesses must now have clear strategies, standards, and resources in place to ensure that everyone they employ can access the web.
To help with that a set of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) have been created with the aim of making the web more accessible to everyone. Within the guidelines, accessibility refers to a visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disability.
Valo Intranet follows WCAG 2.1 criteria
Under the WCAG 2.1 guidelines, developers need to pay close attention to how the content is presented and viewed. Users must be given alternative ways to engage with the content, such as having text alternatives for non-text content.
In addition, users must be given the option to navigate the site using a keyboard rather than a mouse and allow enough time to read and use the content. Other tools such as auto-correct should be available too.
Valo Intranet is simple and easy to use
We wanted to ensure that all our features and components are not only compliant with the WCAG 2.1 accessibility criteria, but are simple and easy to use by everyone. Therefore we commissioned digital inclusion company Axess Lab to undertake an “Accessibility Review”. They went through our solutions and highlighted areas for improvement.
In October 2018 we introduced Valo Intranet Release 1.17. on top of classic SharePoint. Since then, Valo Intranet’s user interface, navigation, web parts, as well as Teamwork and Idea Management products have been following the accessibility criteria laid out by WCAG 2.1.
Since November 2019, after introducing Valo Intranet Release 1.5 Halogen on top of modern SharePoint, Valo Intranet is able to fully meet the high criteria that the WCAG 2.1 report sets.
We don’t often get to work with improving the accessibility of intranets or other digital workplace systems. So, we were happy to work with Valo to help them enhance their solution’s accessibility and bring it in line with WCAG 2.1.
As a result of the findings from the accessibility review done by Axess Lab, the following adjustments have been made to Valo Intranet’s features including:
- Creating a pause button for the carousel
- Improving the keyboard navigation for the menus
- Enhancing our screen reader to comply with the Non Visual Desktop Access recommendations
- Added alt-texts
- Ensuring all color contrasts complied with accessibility best practice
- Providing large font sizes to assist blind or low-vision users
Some of the alterations we undertook might seem small but have made a big difference in improving accessibility for all our users. Valo’s user interface is now clearer, simpler and intuitive to use. All text is possible to be complemented with visual content, such as video, infographics and diagrams.
In addition, all our Valo Partners are given an accessibility check-list – a set of clear instructions on how to install our products effectively.
Accessibility has always been a top priority for our development team and we are continually working to ensure our intranet and digital workplace tools are inclusive for users with or without disabilities.
With that in mind, we will continue to develop our digital workplace solutions and enhance the features already found in our products.
Do you want to see our Valo digital workplace solutions with your own eyes? Book a demo with us and we’d be happy to show you!