Experience analytics leader Contentsquare announced today the launch of the Contentsquare Foundation — a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting digital accessibility in the areas of education, technology and corporate social responsibility.
In the context of a pandemic that has greatly increased our reliance on digital to navigate day-to-day life, it is unacceptable that the 15% of the population who live with a disability should have reduced or limited access to services we collectively rely on today. In fact, a 2019 study conducted by Nucleus research showed that 70% of all websites are inaccessible to the vision-impaired.
In light of this, Contentsquare acquired accessibility software developer AdaptMyWeb (AMW) in October 2020, with the threefold goal of improving accessibility within the industry, developing tools for its customers to make their own digital properties accessible, and accelerating AMW’s efforts to close the accessibility gap by starting a foundation.
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The Contentsquare Foundation
As part of its mission, the Contentsquare Foundation has already started developing a platform to assist students with reading difficulties, including those with dyslexia and visual impairments. This free solution is designed to help educators, parents and caregivers ensure that all students meet their academic potential and are not slowed down by inaccessible learning materials. The platform will also be available for free to healthcare professionals working with dyslexic patients. A beta version of this platform already has 15,000 users, and 500,000 documents have already been made accessible. By 2022, the Contentsquare Foundation aims to have partnered with 500 schools, trained more than 500 teachers on the platform, and engaged 150,000 students.
The Contentsquare Foundation is also developing partnerships with universities to integrate digital accessibility into the computer science curriculum, to ensure future computing professionals have the knowledge and skills they need to create accessible experiences. It’s currently building an online training platform, in partnership with experts in the field of accessibility and inclusive design, that will allow students to take on-demand classes and complete their certification.
“Today, 1 billion people in the world live with some type of disability, and yet the majority of websites remain inaccessible. As someone who has navigated the educational system while dyslexic, I have experienced firsthand the frustrations of a system that can feel ableist to anyone living with an impairment,” said Marion Ranvier, Director of the Contentsquare Foundation. “We need to close the accessibility gap everywhere — starting with the classroom. There is so much we can achieve with technology and in 2021, there is no reason any student should struggle to read learning materials because of vision impairment.”
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Contentsquare CEO and founder Jonathan Cherki has kickstarted the Contentsquare Foundation with a personal contribution, and the company will provide the foundation with important resources, as it raises funds to deliver on its mission.The Contentsquare Foundation is holding its first virtual event for digital professionals on March 26, in partnership with Microsoft, on the topics of digital accessibility and inclusive design.