Zara explains: Accessibility audit – training and the value of up-skilling your team

Written by Zara Gemmell on

Zara explains our training and the value you can get out of up-skilling your internal team on accessibility.

Along our journey to an accessible future digital world I have been fortunate to have met some truly amazing and inspiring individuals. People who make you appreciate what you have and people who inspire you to do better, to want more and to strive to help others understand what a better digital world can be like.

Once you meet people that have difficulty accessing your digital services via means used by the majority and hear how you are restricting their independence, you can’t help but want to make a change. It only takes one accessibility champion within an organisation to make a big difference.  You can be the key to unlock the future of accessibility and teach others the importance.

As the old Chinese proverb says “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and he will have the means to feed himself for a lifetime.”  In the context of accessibility – Don’t just get an accessible product or service built, teach the creators and editors how to maintain the product and preserve its accessibility for the future.

Accessibility training instead of accessibility tools

This is where we promote accessibility training over accessibility tools.  There are automated tools on the market that claim to be able to monitor your accessibility status and report on errors each month.  This may be the case, but the fact of the matter is, automated accessibility tools will only detect up to 30% of the errors you could have on your website.  Are you happy to only do a third of a good job? We’re not!

Instead of investing in expensive software that only does a third of a job, why not invest in your team.  The people that can make a difference, that can act as champions, pass on their knowledge to others and create an inclusive environment for everyone.

Inclusion is the future of accessible products and services

Nobody likes to be excluded.  If you were the one being excluded, you would soon want to make a change to something to make it work better for you as an individual.  This is why so many things are customisable these days – This is inclusivity – giving people a choice, allowing people to decide how something works for them, not getting stuck with something that someone else needs when you have different requirements or preferences.  Some people like to view content such as videos, some people enjoy reading, some people prefer to listen to prose or podcasts. So why not give your users options, regardless of ability or disability.

Sadly, it often takes personal experience to appreciate the pain of others and many accessibility champions have a personal story to tell. When we are auditing websites, we like to introduce you to the people at Shaw Trust Accessibility Services, so you can get to know how you can better assist people who need content to be delivered in a different way.  We hire people with first-hand experience so that we can learn and adapt our way to suit others, take Simon for example, Simon develops our content and translates it to British Sign Language and as a team we are learning a new language. Amazing!

So, provide training, encourage inclusivity and share experiences.

We can help you to train your team to make everyone feel important.

How we can help you to deliver inclusion as standard

We can show you how to audit your own website, to build features that everyone can use and to maintain content to the highest readability standard so that you can include as many people as possible.

Our accessibility workshops offer the chance for you team to gain a better understanding of a wider range of requirements and preferences. Our accessibility training allows us to show you a better way to produce accessible digital services with your users at the heart of everything you do.

Have a look through our accessibility training and workshops and fill in the form to allow us to contact you to discuss how we can help you become accessibility champions.

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