Blog 16.5.2024

The makers of ethical digitalisation: Accessibility is a practical tool for improving equity in the digital world


Three people sitting on a sofa. Five people are standing behind them and next to them is one person in a wheelchair. There are two guide dogs in front of the crew.

In my experience, it seems to be a commonly held perception that an accessible digital service is one that meets the requirements of the law. Likewise, I often encounter people who think that accessibility is something that is done because people with disabilities require it. 

For us at Gofore, accessibility means much more than that. For us, accessibility is not just following the law and helping people with disabilities. For us, accessibility is a practical tool to ensure people are treated with equity, whether they are users of digital services, our customers, our employees, or the society around us. 

We help our customers create accessible solutions 

We collaborate with many public sector organisations building digital services that touch most people’s lives at some point. We recognise the great responsibility we carry in ensuring nobody is excluded from our shared society due to failings or neglect in our work. Accessibility is one tool in our toolbox that helps us consider the wide range of users and their diverse needs. 

Accessibility is part of everything we do. In our customer projects, our experts are able to consider accessibility in design, software development, QA and testing as well as project management. We follow the latest developments in the cutting edge of technology, for example to understand how accessibility meets AI and how accessibility relates to cybersecurity. We also shape the future of accessibility as we work closely with national and international networks of professionals, for example in terms of legislation, standards, and best practices. 

Accessibility is a practical tool for sustainability 

Accessibility has great significance in society beyond individual users, customers or employees. Accessibility is an excellent tool in implementing social sustainability. The activities to improve accessibility and the metrics to measure it provide concrete evidence that real steps are being taken towards social sustainability, and not just by mentioning it in grand ceremonies and annual reports. 

In our accessibility work, we are committed to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Many of those are based on the ideal of equity. There is no ethical digitalisation without accessibility since accessibility is integral to equity. Similarly, we include accessibility in the DEIB goals, that is, to enhance the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging both in our own work community and that of our customers. Accessibility – meaning consideration and respect for our individual differences – is therefore a critical tool in DEIB activities as well. 

Accessibility boosts employee experience 

Accessibility is not solely focused on our customers. Accessibility is also a real-life, lived experience in our community of Goforeans. What matters to us is that every Goforean feels like they can be who they really are and be a valued member of the community. One of the ways we do this is by making sure our processes, tools and workplaces are flexible enough to accommodate diverse ways of working, communicating and being. 

Accessibility at Gofore is not a project, it is a process. Accessibility maturity is a constantly evolving area that we drive forward with ambition and dedication. What this means in practice is that we constantly improve the accessibility, understandability and ease of use of our internal systems. This leads to improved user experience, efficiency and effectiveness of those systems for every employee, not just those who might have a disability or impairment of some kind.

We also develop our own accessibility competence so that we are able to acknowledge and respond to the diversity of our employees. For example, we learn to ensure the accessibility of our internal communications to make sure every employee is able to understand documents, videos and other material, and to take part in conversations both formal and informal. 

Today is the third Thursday of May, which means that it is the Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). It is a day worth celebrating; after all, the purpose is to highlight the importance of inclusion, diversity and equity. For us at Gofore, however, it is a day just as any other because accessibility for us is part of our everyday work. 

It is this same philosophy that we want to bring to our customers as well. We want to make accessibility part of everyday work by developing structures, processes and competencies that support embedding accessibility in the organisation. Our customers are at the heart of our work as we build a digital society that is equal to all. 

Our accessibility expertise at the service of our customers: 

  • Consulting during all the stages of software development 
  • Accessibility training and coaching 
  • Accessibility audits and evaluations 
  • Technical requirements of accessibility 
  • Accessibility in coding and testing 
  • Cognitive accessibility and accessible content design 
  • Accessibility as part of sustainability reporting 
  • Change coaching and organisational development for accessibility maturity 

Also read the previous parts of this blog series:


ethical digital

Elina Jokisuu

Accessibility Lead

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