Tech companies lack knowledge of accessibility

We were recently able to speak to Pedro Esquiva, the accessibility manager at Pasiona Consulting. Esquiva is dedicated, about his work and loves innovation and digital accessibility. He firmly believes that the main asset of any company is the people who work there.

He has more than 5 years of experience in decision-making, business development, as an account manager, and managing projects and teams of people in a decentralised manner with agile methodologies.

He has more than 10 years of experience in systems administration, digital transformation and change management, development and innovation, face-to-face/digital training, webinars and WCAG digital accessibility in international projects.

What is Pasiona and what is your role in the organisation? 

Pasiona is a technology consultancy that specialises in developing customised software and advice for the growth of technical teams.

My role is digital accessibility manager. So my tasks are to raise awareness, train and create accessible software.

What is digital accessibility and when should it be applied? 

Digital accessibility is adapting software so everyone can use it. Including people with functional diversity or elderly people.

Currently, all software built should be accessible. However, it is actually only applied to the potential users of such resources.

Are there organisations that ensure compliance with digital accessibility? 

Yes. There is the World Wide Web Consortium (WWWC), an international body that issues the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These are the guidelines that regulate the accessibility criteria for building universal software.

What is the minimum level or standard that any digital product or content should meet? 

The WCAG guidelines have three levels: A, double A and triple A. The required level is double A in the latest version 2.1.

There are currently companies that do not meet these criteria. For example, only 12 ÍBEX 35 websites fulfil the accessibility level. Very few companies comply with it.

So accessibility by design is an under-recognised mantra. Is more awareness-raising needed? 

Unfortunately, there is still a lack of knowledge on the part of companies. However, Pasiona can lend a helping hand with this, so people gradually take on board the need for it. We offer training for technical teams and also a consulting service during the software development process. We can even carry out accessible software development ourselves.

The conversation went on to deal with more practical issues, such as optimising resources when integrating digital accessibility and about specific projects.

This is what Pedro replied:

  • Including accessibility in the design of a project enables you to reach more people in the shortest possible time