‘Imagine all the people living for today’
Imagine all people have equal access to information.
Yet often even businesses who specialise in products for sensory disability/limitations, don’t provide information in a suitable way for their targeted customers.
A recent survey of eight major Australian optical retailers found not one of their websites had any key accessibility features. This includes the most basic means to enlarge type size. Most featured small print and limited contrast quality. Imagine vision is their business!
The term accessibility or in context Accessible Communications is about providing access to information for all people including those with a sensory/cognitive disability/limitation. It is one of the key areas
in the growing field of Inclusive Communications.
Not meeting the needs of these audiences translates into failed opportunity for organisations and business.
Is your information available and accessible to those whose sensory &/ cognitive skills are limited? OR do you have a one size fits all attitude?
What is Accessible Communications?
It is taking a holistic communications approach to present information in a way that people can equally read, hear, query, understand, respond and interact. It is complex, trying to meet all diverse needs.
The reality is that it’s not viable to cover every possibility. Start by looking at your organisation’s overall communications program. Identify what features and accessibility standards can be included to meet the essentials for most people. Then establish a flexible approach to meet individual less frequent accessibility requirements.
What communications activity should be accessible?
The short answer is ideally everything! Start with your organisations basics how is; the phone answered, customer services delivered and printed or online marketing content presented. Today there are also ever increasing useful options through technology and choices in
So what about websites?
Web accessibility has become a key focus. However, in many countries including Australia, where accessibility is mandatory for all government website, there is wide failure in meeting even basic criteria such as those established through the International Web Content Accessibility Standards (WCAG 2.0). The key issues are awareness and then commitment. Fortunately there are many available resources to help business, organisations and web developers meet these standards. Much is being done, but there is much more to do.
So how does an organisation or person start?
All audiences naturally include people who have a sensory/cognitive disability/limitation. Review how you communicate, conduct an Inclusive Communications Audit, identify your gaps and opportunities. Develop your Corporate Style Guide with Inclusive Communications benchmarks, empower your staff to interact with diverse audience needs, transform all your literature into alternative formats, bring your website up to the most current WCAG accessibility standards and explore the ever growing choice of technological options.
‘Imagine all the people sharing all the world’
Here I go again with my pitch- Don’t forget ComAbility can assist you with developing your Inclusive Communications.