Humanity is increasingly looking for innovative ways to empower individuals with disabilities with technology that improves quality of life. Artificial Intelligence has become a turnkey resource to drive inclusion and support the developing demands, obligations, and social responsibilities of organizations to create barrier-free digital experiences. AI and accessibility solutions fueled by robust deep and machine learning algorithms have taken user experience (UX) to the next level.

The power AI and accessibility solutions have to enhance online experiences is not exclusive to people with disabilities. Individuals of varying abilities and diverse backgrounds have adopted solutions with AI and accessibility to go about their daily lives. AI for accessibility of digital spaces supports all individuals with challenges speaking, typing, writing, memory, pointing, sight, hearing, cognition, mobility, and more. 

Some people may simply be posed with difficulties in these areas. While others find themselves in environments and circumstances that are easier to overcome with generative AI accessibility tools. Regardless, your digital space should accommodate everyone on your website, app, or platform. No matter who and where you are or why you’re engaging with online, access to online experiences should be equal, easy and fair. 

In this blog post we’ll look at how generative AI and accessibility solutions make it happen. 

We’ll start by investigating how artificial intelligence is integrated into our daily routines, habitual online interactions, and every aspect of our lives. And then, segue into a deeper look at how assistive intelligence embraces the diversity of every online user to make their digital experience frictionless, fun, and free of barriers. 

Understanding The Importance of AI for Accessibility

Artificial Intelligence simulates human capabilities, used to perform digitally automated tasks – time-consuming, tedious, and even prone to human error. But on a social empathy level, it not only creates inclusive digital experiences, it simplifies, enhances and amplifies UX for everyone. 

Our smartphones integrate a range of tools to create equal grounds in the digital playing field with generative AI. 

From voice, facial, and fingerprint recognition, to voice to text technology, automated color contrast, screen brightness, and adaptive zoom in and out.  All of these inclusive AI-powered options and tools optimize mobile and desktop digital accessibility.

AI often helps us jump complex hurdles and robust tasks that need analysis of data. Google even presents search results based on your previous queries and interests using AI. So do online shopping apps and platforms like Aliexpress, eBay, and your local supermarket chains.

Assistive AI in everyday life benefits online users with visual, hearing, and cognitive impairments to process digital content. But it can also save lives.  Law enforcement, government, finance, and pharma use deep and machine learning technologies to crunch and analyze mass amounts of critical data for investigations. And those ordering medication online benefit from the power of AI for accessibility of voice command buying, automated options to fill existing prescriptions, and more.

 Think of all the things we take for granted: opening our smartphones and unlocking screens with biometrics. Voice to speech tech that allows hands-free writing of messages on Whatsapp and other communication apps. And even online shopping with previous purchases creating suggested product lists to make our lives easier in apps, platforms, or websites. 

But what about someone who’s mobility is truly limited – who can’t use their hands for any online task, or can’t see, hear, or engage with content traditionally? We’ll take an active look at how people with disabilities are given a world of opportunity to engage with online spaces equally with assistive AI. And we’ll also look at how AI functions as a source of technological empathy, creating equal opportunities and pathways to engage with online content, regardless of abilities and needs.

3 key benefits generative AI gives businesses 

  • Drives Inclusive Engagement, Interaction & Freedom to Live

Leading web development and performance marketing agencies have seen everything from a CTR (Click Through Rate) increase to a drop in bounce rates with the integration of AI-powered accessibility widgets. What does this mean for businesses and users? Companies reach more audiences, expand their buyer market, and target more users. While the users are enticed to tap, touch, click, voice command, or use everything from screen readers and braille displays to get what they want when they want it online.

  • ADA (American Disabilities Act) Compliance

A source indicates a projected 200% increase in repeat accessibility lawsuits in 2023, predicting 200% increase in 2023. eCommerce companies are at the biggest risk, amounting to 77% of ADA and accessibility lawsuits, with the food industry in second at 8% of cases. Staying compliant with digital accessibility mandates is a must.

  • Skyrocket Sales & Buyer Experience 

1 in 4 American adults living with disabilities present a disposable income of $1.28 trillion, and accessible digital content increases earning potential and sets leaders apart. 

Innovation and truly stellar interactivity are critical now more than, and assistive intelligence delivers both. 

Now let’s dig deeper into the scope of how AI for accessibility not only democratizes the digital playing field for all, but takes it to a whole new level of excitement and enticement that anyone can enjoy.

How assistive AI drives inclusion in our daily lives

The internet’s changed everything about how we process transactions, deal with administrative errands, and pretty much every process – shopping, medical and healthcare bureaucracy, food orders, our work, communication, and understanding our world. Being online and actively interacting on the accessible web makes our personal and professional lives easier. 

The web as we know it has allowed us to make digital globalization and outreach from one corner of the globe to the other instantaneously possible and simple. Think of Zoom, Google Meet, Whatsapp video, and social media. But for some, it’s still a struggle when the online UX doesn’t consider their needs. 

That’s where assistive AI intervenes and becomes the technological shoulder to lean on for people with disabilities. 

What is the role of AI as an assistive technology?

Imagine having uncontrollable shaky hands from panic disorder, Multiple Sclerosis spasms that limit mouse navigation or gripping a smartphone, or vision impairments that limit engagement with images, videos, or infographics. What seems like an inherently simple drag and drop or tap of the screen, or merely a breezy task like picking up a device, or seeing the graphics and understanding the value of visuals – all become a challenge. That is, if the experiences and devices are not designed in a way that’s accessible. 

So, why not take the AI initiative so many businesses are in fact taking: design and develop your digital devices and spaces with inclusion at heart.

Let’s look at some of the innovations that have made digital inclusion possible with AI intelligence, and truly embrace the importance assistive intelligence has in our daily lives.

Biometric Identification, Access & Engagement Online

Facial, voice, and fingerprint recognition: seamless, secure, inclusive.

Straight to the point, cybersecurity and identity theft are common and real issues in our digitally driven society. Data, especially sensitive information like birth dates, credit cards, and information about our medical conditions are often sought out by hackers to be sold on the dark web. They can be used to hack systems or even hold businesses ransom for millions, billions and trillions of dollars. Worse yet, the sensitive data of countless users can be exposed.

Fast forward to the 21st century of AI for accessibility, and forget messy passwords, entering in codes, personal data, and sensitive information to log in to systems. Now, your face, fingerprint, and voice can not only keep your data more secure, but can actually be used with unique biometrics applications and platforms to log in. So details of your personal or professional lives stay stored inside platforms. Without your face, fingerprint or voice access is denied. 

But biometrics can also make it easier for people with disabilities to access online experiences. Here’s how.

Instead of typing in a username, password, birthdate, and personal info that malicious actors could be seeking on networks, let the power of assistive AI scan your face, fingerprint and hear your voice to grant you access. For someone using a screen reader, voice recognition goes hand in hand, as often these are individuals with visual disabilities. For a user engaging with a website who has Parkinson’s Disease, they may tremble and experience difficulties typing, holding a device, or tapping a screen. 

The power of AI gives these individuals the free will to choose how their unique face, fingerprint, or voice open the doors to digital spaces. And of course, the added bonus of reinforcing security can’t hurt in today’s tumultuous cyberspace, with security threats and breaches making headlines by the minute.

Captioning Video & Audio Content

Just because you can hear and see content, it doesn’t mean that reading can’t help

Hearing and seeing content doesn’t mean reading it is out of the question. In fact, for some, engaging with transcripts or live captions of video and audio content not only makes engaging with content faster and more simple. They can help enforce ideas with written text, making the UX far more efficient and effective. Following closed captions and reading transcripts of podcasts, video narratives, and even academic materials, (like webinars, lectures, and workshops), can take comprehension to new heights.

Learning can be a challenge for individuals with hearing and visual impairments, and for those who cope with concentration challenges that come with ADHD. Epilepsy can stifle users that deal with flashing images in videos, so text transcriptions can mitigate risk of seizures or difficulty coping. These are all reasons that AI for accessibility of every online user should be prioritized.

Inclusion is the name of the game, with audio and video transcripts and captions not only guiding readers through the process of understanding multimedia content. It allows them to reference written words, collect insights from resources, and create summaries and study notes. Assistive intelligence is just that – a nearly human means to help anyone interact with your online messages, ideas, and offering. 

On a business level, having captions of video ads can take KPIs from good to great. You expand potential buyer reach, engage anyone reaching the captions, and potentially sell more. If your solution, service, or product has something to offer anyone who’s hearing impaired, say it with closed captions. 

There’s a $13 trillion market of people with disabilities with disposable income, (yes, trillion).  And they’re ready to be included in your offering if it’s worth their while. Sell it to them with the right messages using transcripts and captions and include as many as possible.

With just a simple caption, businesses and academic institutions can create more impact and leverage online engagement – of students, shoppers, and any individual who prefers to read what they hear, or reinforce what they think they’re seeing with a scripted, real-time narrative of video content. 

Plus, it’s possible someone with vision impairments could be using a braille display or screen reader. Having a text file or version of the video will make all the difference in creating an accessible platform for engaging with video content, since screen readers scan the written content and relay it to users audibly. Braille displays function similarly and if 13 trillion dollars isn’t enough to motivate a business, then social, moral and legal obligations for online ADA compliance should be sufficient.

Accessible design: keeping everyone’s eyes on your website

Automated optimization of UI (User Interface) for usability and universal access 

Shout it from the rooftops, because Forrester’s reliable research tells us that businesses can miss out on approximately $1.9 billion in revenue if their web design is not accessible. That’s a hefty loss for any business to swallow just because they’ve overlooked the critical social and business need to include buyers of all abilities and diverse needs. And even more statistics tell us that roughly 60% of organizations are committing to producing executive-led accessible products to gain more and better sales. If c-levels recognize the value of inclusion – do it.

It’s not just about being compliant with ADA requirements and WCAG guidelines when it comes to inclusive web design. You’re truly and genuinely making the navigation, visual, and graphic engagement a more fluid experience for everyone. Accessible design means any user can click, tap, and move through your digital space with simplified, navigable interaction. 

What does that mean in practical terms when considering the role of AI for accessibility?

If someone can’t click through your links because they’re hard to identify and lack HTML tags, well chances are assistive technologies won’t be able to zoom through your sight. So if a blind or vision impaired user browses your website with a braille or screen reader, they may not be able to access all of the content. A hit to your sales, a rise in bounce rates, a drop in engagement. 

Generative AI is an empathy tool and resource to help ensure inclusion but won’t solve development issues. That is, unless you integrate an automated accessibility checker or scanner to help identify and remediate issues.

You want every user to gain the full experience your online environment can offer? Get those HTML tags in the right place on every clickable, tappable and engaging URL or button. That’s just a starting point to discover the benefits of accessible navigation.

Expanding your audience reach isn’t just about flashy aesthetics and sleek look in feel. Practical and usable websites mean that visuals, buttons, and form fields are anyone’s fair game. Web designers and developers can make easy adjustments to help ensure this. And jumping this hurdle is even easier when integrating inclusive tech, so navigating any website is simple.

With quick and simple integration, a tool that drives AI for accessibility can make any website owner a frontrunning advocate for inclusion. Innovative widgets offer everything from ADA compliant zoom abilities, to text spacing and line height adjustments, a reading mask to help guide users through your content, dyslexia-friendly font, disabled animation, and even a screen reader. But to help make screen readers even more usable, add image alt text to visuals like pictures, GIFs, and video. 

Universal accessibility is much more than a stunning website. It’s a functional, accessible, and easily navigated online experience that fundamentally adheres to the principles of accessibility – in design, and translates into an exceptional UX. 

You can learn even more about how to make your website accessible with tips and insights from our experts.

Voice to text: tell your device what you want to write

Hands-free word processing – everyone writes without lifting a finger.

You’ve got your hands full, you can’t type, you’re writing an email for work, while talking to your best friend, or you have vision impairments and staring and squinting a screen to type is a headache. Sound familiar? 

The circumstances for how voice to text technology can simplify word processing on any device can be endless. But that’s exactly what makes it so incredibly handy – it takes word processing to a whole new level of inclusion. 

Tell your device just what you want it to write, and generative AI will do the task for you. Mind you, some voice to text technologies’ algorithms are stronger than others, but the bottom line is a quick edit can still simplify the writing and word processing of any message you want to relay in text form.

Think of how much time is saved, how much efficiency is amplified. And, how anyone with conditions like dyslexia, vision impairments, dysgraphia, and even second language learners who speak a language better than writing it all benefit. This is the power of assistive AI at its finest – giving everyone an equal set of cards to navigate online experiences and deliver content and communication to anyone. With just speech. 

Talk and you get words on paper, or more accurately, on screens of all devices, for any user with unique needs. 

UserWay’s Widget: Harnessing Artificial Intelligence for Accessibility

UserWay’s Widget is used by businesses ready to automate digital accessibility with exceptional UX. With expedited and simple integration, engage more online users and extend audience reach while delivering ADA compliance of websites, apps, or platforms. 

The widget makes a range of user profiles accessible within seconds. People can finally experience your online space fully, whether vision impaired, dyslexic, coping with ADHD, learning and cognitive disabilities, and so much more. 

Automate remediation of accessibility issues, with AI for accessibility doing the work. Identify violations, improve UI, and even bring down language and reading barriers with the widget’s screen reader. Give inclusive online experiences of your digital space a new meaning, as the widget empowers organizations with next-level standards of innovation that puts you at the forefront of accessibility advocacy.

Talk to a UserWay expert and get started. 

Answers to Common FAQs

How does AI help with accessibility?

In every way. AI can elevate engagement rates, enhance UX, include anyone with diverse needs, and helps your online space stay ADA compliant. Plus, why miss out on sales and opportunities? Expand user reach with swift and simple integration of an AI-powered accessibility widget that powers inclusion near-instantly. With AI, users can enjoy the full experience your digital environment offers, from buying, viewing, hearing, and reading content, submitting forms, documents, and so much more.

What is assistive AI and how does AI for accessibility improve UX?

Artificial Intelligence is technology, be it software or hardware. Assistive AI simulates the capabilities and functions of human beings, from physical and motoric tasks, to analysis of complex data, to writing text by hearing what you say. It’s often used to produce results faster, with greater accuracy and cost-effectively. Especially when users face challenges, or need a quicker and easier way to navigate your online space.

With the complexity and competition of online content creators, using generative AI to optimize user accessibility, amplify your brand’s online presence, and include every visitor is ideal. Organizations are increasingly adopting assistive intelligence to help make everything from websites, apps, and platforms accessible, while also staying ADA compliant. You can stand out as an industry leader with an innovative touch by simply integrating a widget and getting started on your accessibility journey today.

What are some examples of generative AI in everyday life?

Generative AI that drives accessibility online is everywhere – Google Maps, voice to text apps, biometric recognition, Siri, Alexa, and more. AI for accessibility helps organizations optimize UX and online processes cost-effectively. People with disabilities benefit from a smoother, smarter, and easier level of online interactivity, with an inclusive content and consumer experience from end to end.