Innovative Practice 2021 on Inclusive Employment and ICT

An accessibility testing platform, powered by people with disabilities

Fable Tech Labs is a Canadian technology start-up launched in 2018, offering services worldwide. It employs people with motor and visual disabilities to offer digital accessibility testing, research, and quality assurance services to companies designing and developing digital products. The online platform for making and reviewing requests for support is fully accessible, allowing people to work flexibly and remotely. In 2020, Fable had 100 people with disabilities working as accessibility testers.

“What makes Fable unique is that it is a diverse community of people living with disabilities.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Fable
Organisation:Fable
Country
of Implementation
Canada, Worldwide
Start Year2018
Sub-CategoryA project related to ICT

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Fable experiences a 500 per cent increase in revenue between December 2019 and June 2020
  • The company can offer compatibility testing with ten different assistive technologies

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Digital products are often inaccessible to people with disabilities, and there are few flexible, accessible job opportunities in the digital sector.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

Fable’s online platform offers companies research, testing, and quality assurance services for their digital products or technology. Companies submit requests to the platform and Fable has a community of testers with motor and visual disabilities, ranging from novice users to technology experts, who respond to the requests. Testers take part in user research interviews, provide feedback on prototypes, and test compatibility with assistive technology, among other services. Typical feedback time is two business days. Clients include Walmart, Slack, and Shopify. One client, Gatsby JS – an open-source website builder – used Fable to make changes that made 26,700 websites more compatible with screen readers.

Since 2018, Fable has facilitated flexible and remote working for many people with disabilities who earn, on average, more than double the minimum wage. Testers can work as much or little as they want, and Fable’s platform is fully accessible for its testers and clients to use.

Five Fable team members smile and laugh with their arms on each other’s shoulders.

Five Fable team members enjoy a happy moment together.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

Fable is a subscription-based platform and does not share revenue figures publicly. Companies pay a monthly fee, which allows them a maximum number of requests per month. The cost varies depending on the organization and its needs. Between 2019 and 2020, Fable’s revenue increased 500 per cent. In July 2020, Fable announced it had raised US$1.5 million to enlarge its team and to develop new products.

By 2023, Fable aims to grow its product-based revenue exponentially and to have 150 clients. It also aims to expand the range of disabilities supported through its platform and to provide part-time employment to a workforce of 600 people with disabilities.

FACTSHEET

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