The importance of designing accessibility in software from the ground up has only been underscored by the pandemic, and as a result, Fable’s on-demand accessibility experts have proven their value many times over. The company has raised $10 million to expand and pursue its goal of “making inclusive product development the status quo,” as CEO Anwar Pillai put it.
fable raised a $1.5 million seed round in summer 2020 (it was founded in 2018), in response to the increasing demand for first-hand expertise in accessibility – essentially people with disabilities and software experience that could be used for testing and advice from developers. If you design your app to be used by blind people, you should probably have blind people test it, right? Fable makes this easy.
But the company’s goal isn’t just to provide a diverse group of testers and experts, but to ensure that accessibility can be on the roadmap of every company and project from the start. The last few years have carried that message home.
“With the outbreak of COVID-19, the physical world ground to a halt and everything went online. This highlighted the importance of ensuring everyone has access to digital products and services,” Pillai said. “While this spotlight has helped raise more organizations’ awareness of the issue, our mission has always been to empower people with disabilities to participate, contribute, and shape society.”
The new round of funding, led by Five Elms Capital with participation from Difference Partners, Disruption Ventures and several Angels, will of course help scale and enhance the products already on offer. Companies like Microsoft, Shopify, Slack and Meta are already customers.
But now the company is also diving into the world of in-company training.
“While we have seen an explosion in the practice of accessibility in organizations, knowledge and skills have not kept pace,” Pillai said. “Our second product, Fable Upskill, was developed in response to overwhelming customer demand for accessibility training.”
Upskill will be “video-based courses designed by accessibility experts specifically for each team,” including the actual products and processes the customer is already using. So not just a standard one-size-fits-all “how to do accessibility” video (we’ve probably had enough of these already).
Of course, given Fable’s core strength of a widespread community of professionals with disabilities, the content will also focus on these experts and their voices so that the advice doesn’t seem abstract. Upskill is about to get a shot in the arm with this $10 million infusion, so don’t be surprised if you see one of Fable’s videos in your own training materials anytime soon.
Fable funds quest for accessibility-inclusive development with $10M A round – TechCrunch Source link Fable funds quest for accessibility-inclusive development with $10M A round – TechCrunch