Working in an Inclusive Digital World
As we are all being required to respect physical distancing, it means that many of us are relying on digital tools in an unprecedented way. This provides greater social connection for some, but at the same time excludes others. When implementing digital solutions, it is imperative to be inclusive of those who may have disabilities. Remember that many disabilities are invisible, particularly for those with hearing or sight impairments.
When creating digital content it is important to remember that we all have a role. Authors, designers, and developers all have a role in ensuring that ideas can be understood by the user. Digital tools are designed to be interactive, so special attention needs to be placed in ensuring that people using assistive technology can access them. We must also remember that very few of us are working in ideal conditions, particularly as we struggle to blance home/life responsibilities.
In an era of social distancing and remote work, more people are having to move an increasing portion of their lives online. Some services are only being offered online, but much of the time accessibility hasn’t been considered. With all of the investment that is going into digital transformation in light of COVID-19, it is more critical than ever that accessibility is addressed properly.
There are more organizations sharing what they have tried. Drake Music in the UK put together this list of suggestions for Accessibility in Video Conferencing and Remote Meetings. DisabilityIN has put together some great resources on COVID-19 and disability including material on accessible tools and remote work.
Test Websites & HTML Emails
There are lots of tools out there to help you understand where there might be digital barriers for your teams and clients. Test your site with these free services:
Since we are using more online tools like video conferencing, live streaming and webcasting to have conversations and meetings, here are a few resources which can be used to provide captions for those with hearing impairments or who are trying to work in a noisy environment.
If you are wondering if a company has Accessibility Features you can search for Accessibility Statements. Listed are statements which we have found useful.
There is just so much great information available to help people learn how to create more accessibile digital content.
- Sign up to OpenConcept’s monthly Accessibility Action Newsletter
- Sign up to A11y Weekly newsletter.
- Pick from tonnes of great accessibility videos to watch and share the good ones with your team.
- Check out the A11y Project and their resources
- Follow some of these great folks on Twitter.
If you are organizing a virtual event here are some other things to consider.