SAP’s Devotion to Accessibility

09 Apr 2019

SAP’s Devotion to Accessibility

As a market leader in enterprise application software (EAS), SAP’s systems are used in roughly 77% of all transaction revenue across the world. SAP has earned a reputation for helping turn businesses into intelligent enterprises with the use of their Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced analytics. Utilizing machine learning technology, they have developed an end-to-end suite of applications that continuously adapt and improve customer efficiency. SAP does not stop at just improving business operations, but also goes the extra mile to accommodate those effected by disabilities with the development of accessible technologies and web designs.

What is Accessibility?

According to SAP, “Accessibility refers to the possibility for everyone, including people who are differently abled, to access and use technology and information products.” In the world of technology, universal design and accessible technologies are two primary tools that allow individuals with disabilities access online information and use everyday items such as cell phones or computers, without hindering their functionality. The idea of universal design is to ensure users have unassisted direct access to a product or application, as well as indirect access; meaning the product or application is compatible with assistive technology (such as screen readers) that may be needed by the user.

SAP’s View on Accessibility

SAP is a company dedicated to helping the world run more efficiently and improving people’s lives. Additionally, they strive to foster a global culture of inclusion for everyone regardless of whether they are abled or disabled. SAP has a long standing commitment to accessibility that they are proud of; “making our software work for more people has been and continues to be a high priority. We bring accessibility to life with design and development: accessibility features, defined accessibility requirement and processes are the keys to making our products more accessible.” Furthermore, SAP has established a “Global Human Rights Commitment Statement”, explaining in detail the processes and actions they take to ensure inclusion and equality for all throughout the lifecycle of their products and services.

Personalization and Customization

The requirement for accessible technologies for employees who rely on them to contribute to the work environment has been on a steady rise. SAP sees that accessibility is becoming an asset to organizations and is now not only of social, but economic importance as well. In order to comply with the growing importance of accessible technology, SAP offers customization options to its products and applications. Often, built-in accessibility features work “out-of-the-box.” Yet, users with specific disabilities might ask for additional personalization options, or certain parameters may need to be configured to enable the right features. SAP’s End-user documentation contains information such as keyboard shortcuts, personalization options regarding colors, contrasts and font sizes, as well as accessible alternatives.

SAP Accessibility Status Documents

The “SAP Accessibility Status Documents” inform about product-specific accessibility features. In particular, they describe the testing environment and report its current status on standards, guidelines and requirements. The SAP Accessibility Status Documents are based on VPAT for the U.S, on BITV for Germany, and on WCAG for their international customers.

In summation SAP has stated, “We have the goal of meeting the needs of everyone.  When outlining whats needed to be done to achieve this goal, we looked into our end users’ industry, geography, and line of business…just to name a few. However, we knew this wasn’t far enough. To truly meet the requirements of every end user, we had to ensure that our product designs went beyond just business needs.” With this statement, it is clear SAP has a deeper inclination to help people improve their lives overall and not just their business; setting an example for all other companies to follow.

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