We live in an era where the internet has become a part of our daily lives. We use the internet practically every day at work, at home, and even in school. Almost all discussions nowadays end with the phrase “do a Google search”. However, there is a population that is disadvantaged – the disabled, who make up about 15% of the world’s population. This population does not have the privilege of enjoying the internet since most available web pages are not adequately built for accessibility. This problem has led to the creation of web accessibility platforms that make web pages accessible to everyone.
One such company is accessiBe, which leverages AI Technology to make web pages accessible to the disabled. The company, considered a market leader in web accessibility, assists website owners in auditing and improving their sites to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Dedicated to helping the disabled, the company has gone further to develop a new initiative dubbed accessFind to help bridge the web accessibility gap. AccessFind is a first-of-its-kind search engine built particularly for people with disabilities. The search engine will have an accessible-friendly index of websites that will make it easier for disabled people to navigate the internet.
Browsing through millions of inaccessible web pages has long been a burden for the disabled community, given that only 2% of web pages are accessible. The experience can be frustrating and overwhelming, therefore denying them the luxury of accessing limitless results and opportunities from search engines, resulting in a feeling of isolation. AccessFind initiative aims at empowering this population by offering them full access to thousands of accessible web pages faster.
AccessFind is part of accessiBle’s public road map to realizing its vision of making the internet accessible to all users by 2025. The initiative has attracted several leading disability-focused organizations, including Columbia Lighthouse For The Blind (CLB), Determined2Heal, Earle Baum Center of the Blind, Senspoint, The Viscardi Center, The IMAGE Center of Maryland, and United Spinal Association. The initiative is expected to be launched later in 2021 and will have over 120,000 accessible websites, with more accessible websites expected to join.