8th July 2020
We’ve heard it a thousand times:whatwe’re living through is unprecedented. Every experience, pattern and data point in 2020 is an anomaly…and what charities and their beneficiaries are contending with is no exception to this.Coronavirus has resulted in a massive, global shock to the system: in terms of health, society and the environment. As a result, there is a greater need for support, at a time when charities are more stretched than ever.
With offline services largely out-of-bounds, there is a renewed need for - and focus on - the extent to which charities have adapted to online outreach and delivery of those services. More specifically: can potential service users access online charity services, regardless of their accessibility needs? Coronavirus itself, as well as its numerous indirect effects, is hitting those with pre-existing health conditions (and, by proxy, those who may be relying on charities) disproportionately, so the need tomake charity services both online and accessible has never been greater.
In this report, we share with you unique insights into the world of digital accessibility in the charity sector: the attitudes and behaviours of beneficiaries, the accessibility needs of those accessing your website, the impact of coronavirus and, ultimately,what you - as a forward-thinking charity - should do. We build on the knowledge gained fromour 12 years in the digital charity sector, our annual research into digital charity trends, a brand-new, bespoke and nationally representative survey of the general public, and the cutting-edge insights fromsome of the industry’s leading minds inmaking charities accessible.
In our findings, we show that:
Our digital world is less accessible than our physical world
Accessibility is not binary
Coronavirus is disproportionately affecting disabled people
There is an unmet demand for charity services
Proactive charities are benefitting
We also provide to you a list of evidenced and sector-specific recommendations, to help you better meet the needs of your service users, and give your charity the best possible chance of future-proofing its online offering in an accessible and equitableway:
Open a dialogue
Help the few to help the many
Innovate through disability
Be accessible by default