Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2021
Global Accessibility Awareness Day is a chance for everyone to recognise, talk and think about the importance of making digital services as inclusive as possible. Our Senior Digital Designer Jordana Jeffrey points out some important lessons that we at focusgov have learned through our own work and some of the challenges we have faced around digital accessibility.
Understanding why we need to prioritise accessibility is as important as knowing how to. So much of life today is conducted using digital: web, apps, social media, eCommerce, customer engagement. Imagine trying to, and not being able to, use services such as these purely down to inaccessible design and technology.
Accessibility isn’t just design: take an accessibility-first approach to everything. It’s not just what you see, but how it works. Don’t leave everything to the designer, get coders involved, get it right at the beginning and you won’t be fixing mistakes later.
Use the guidelines - WCAG is a good checklist, and there are some great ‘friendlier’ versions available to explain what it all means in a non-technical manner.
Network and get involved. Those who are passionate and engaged about accessibility are always keen to share their knowledge, so look out for useful webinars and blogs. Consider creating your own - pay it forward!
Finally, prepare to spend time talking to your customers about accessibility and plan these conversations. We find that the concept of accessibility being a ‘tick box’ exercise still exists. Explain that accessibility should be discussed and planned as much as design, development, testing and marketing. These conversations can be tricky, and even with new laws enforcing public sector bodies to comply with accessibility legislation, accessibility can be a difficult conversation to have.
You can follow Jordana on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/FocusJordana
Happy GAAD day to everyone.
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