LCI, an expert consultancy in web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG), and Walk West, a leader in diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) marketing, are pleased to announce the launch of their joint venture – Ablr. As an emerging leader in digital accessibility services, Ablr offers businesses innovative solutions that remove the barriers for people with disabilities, ensuring that all people can browse, understand and fully participate in digital experiences that include education, healthcare, retail and employment.
According to John Samuel, the venture’s co-founder and CEO, Ablr’s mission blends both head and heart. More than 26 percent of Americans live with a disability ranging from visual and auditory impairments to motor and cognitive challenges. In addition, approximately 31 percent of people are a family member or friend of a person with a disability and are more sensitive to the needs of the disability community. That means that nearly one out of two people in the world are impacted by accessibility barriers that people with disabilities face on a daily basis. Knowing this, Ablr will raise awareness and remove barriers, helping businesses understand the cultural and financial advantages of adhering to the WCAG, which the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) relies on, ensuring their digital assets provide equal access and opportunity to people with disabilities. In the U.S. alone, the estimated annual discretionary spending of people with disabilities is more than $500 billion USD, while the global estimate is nearly $7 trillion USD.
Ablr is a disrupter in the accessibility auditing space because it’s powered by professionals with disabilities using assistive technology to audit and test digital platforms. Many companies assume automated accessibility solutions will identify these issues; however, automated checkers usually only catch 25 – 40 percent of accessibility problems on websites. Ablr uses its team of certified auditors – many of whom happen to be blind and low vision – to deliver holistic testing and usability of online assets. In addition to providing best-in-class audits, Ablr also offers monitoring, remediation, training and corporate consulting services.
“I could not be more proud to be a part of Ablr,” says Samuel. “Not only are we helping our clients make their digital content more accessible to an often-underserved population, we are creating awareness and building empathy, both of which I hope will lead global enterprises to help bridge the digital divide.”
Ablr’s leadership team – including Board of Directors member, Jeffrey Hawting, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Mike Iannelli, and Samuel – is moving forward in pursuit of the venture’s core mission. The new venture will operate under the core brand values of equality, innovation, education and partnership while working toward bringing “Accessibility and Inclusion for all.”
“The disability community is an untapped market, and with nearly one billion people globally, it’s a market that businesses cannot ignore,” says Iannelli. “In addition, this community has a high unemployment and underemployment rate. If we can remove the barriers that are causing this, we can help make a significant socioeconomic impact.” Ablr also aims to build a pipeline of opportunities for people with disabilities to participate as employees in the knowledge economy.
For more information about Ablr’s accessibility services visit: Ablr360.com
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Ablr is a digital accessibility and inclusion company founded on the key principle that all digital content is accessible for everyone, no exception. Ablr offers the optimal blend of technology + humanity. Ablr’s team of certified analysts, many of whom have disabilities, ensures content and digital assets adhere to the federal requirements of ADA, Section 508 and WCAG and human-centric usability. In addition to digital audits, Ablr offers website remediation, training and consulting.
LCI is a provider of manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, retail and technology consulting solutions — and one of the largest employers of Americans who are blind or visually impaired. We serve customers in the public and private sectors who need high quality products and services that meet procurement needs, including those of the AbilityOne program. Our innovative approach to business-model evolution enables us to exceed the expectations of our customers while empowering our employees to reach their highest potential. Learn more at lcindustries.com.
About Walk West
Walk West is a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in strategic communications, web design and development, digital media, video production and content marketing. Walk West was founded and remains driven by its values of curiosity, adaptability, integrity and collaboration. Learn more at walkwest.com.