Why Video Chat Should Focus More on Accessibility

Accessibility and video chat aren’t often terms that go hand-in-hand. But they should be. Video chat is the future of digital conversation, and we need to be sure there’s equal opportunity for its usage.

Why is accessibility important?

Accessibility is the ability to have access to something regardless of a condition. For example, oftentimes buildings with wheelchair ramps are considered accessible.

But what does it mean for technology to be accessible? Well, for us, it means making sure that our platform is as easy to use as possible, so that we can provide equal opportunity for all users.

The problem with video chat

Unfortunately, up until now, video chat hasn’t really been accessible to a large group of people. In theory, good video chat platforms mimic real life conversations well enough that the technology fades away. However in reality, oftentimes video chat services like Skype or Zoom are so bogged down with features--not to mention required downloads and potential viruses--that the platform itself is all users can really focus on.

Another problem is that the people who need video chat the most can’t really use it. According to a study by Statistics Canada, nearly one in four older adults would have liked to have been more socially active in the past year, with the most common obstacle being a health limitation. Video chat seems like the obvious solution--older adults wouldn’t even have to leave their bed to remain socially engaged.

However, they struggle with complicated video chat technology, and so don’t use it at all. In fact, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, only 26% of internet users age 65 and older feel very confident using computers or smartphones, with most reporting being only a little comfortable or not comfortable at all.

The solution? A simpler video chat

That’s where we come in. OneClick.chat is a video chat platform informed by grant research with the National Institutes of Health in order to create the easiest to use experience for older adults. We have focused on being as simple as possible, with just a couple buttons and little to no work on the user’s part--with just one click, participants can join a video chat meeting. No downloads, no complicated features. We’re in the business of making video chat accessible to everyone.

For a free trial of a meeting room, click here. Or, if you want to learn more about our work with the NIH, check out this press release from Technical.ly!