ArticleNovember 18, 2021by included

Improving accessibility at work and online

Accessibility evaluates a product, event, or situation from the perspective of whether people with different abilities can easily use it. 6% of the world’s population is affected by deafness or hearing loss, 1% uses a wheelchair, 2.6% have an intellectual disability and 1.7% is affected by blindness or a visual impairment. Each of these areas are covered when we are talking about accessibility. Situational factors are also an accessibility consideration, such as affordability or the balancing of caregiving responsibilities.

We can split accessibility into online accessibility, such as someone’s experience when using a website, and physical accessibility, such as how someone is able to enter and participate in an in-person conference.

Online accessibility can be improved by:
  • Using captions and transcripts to accompany video content. Up to 92% of video is viewed without sound, so the step of adding subtitles will expand your audience.
  • Consulting the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which are intentionally recognised standards of website accessibility. Currently only 1% of websites in the top 1 million homepages meet accessibility standards.
  • Use universal design considerations, such as high contrast colours, a readable font size, and adding alt-text to images.
Improve the accessibility of your office and physical meetings and events by:
  • Asking venues upfront for an accessibility statement and checking your venue’s accessibility. The COP26 Summit venue was inaccessible an Israeli minister as it was not wheelchair accessible.
  • Checking accessibility requirements with your attendees. Your invite or confirmation can ask participants to share what would help them best as an individual. This can include transport as well as within the venue.
  • You can widen participation by looking at options such as creches to allow participants with caregiving responsibilities to attend in-person events.