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How to Implement Digital Accessibility in a Workplace

Ways to accommodate individuals with disabilities, sensory impairments, cognitive impairments, and physical limitations

By: The De Lacy Executive Team

Over the past few decades, there has been a worldwide movement towards utilizing accessible design practices. Daily lives are increasingly digital, and more people are now reliant on digital means for work, online learning, shopping, banking, entertainment, healthcare and more.

The general concept of accessibility, applied mostly to physical, public, and private spaces, is important now more than ever in the digital world.

Digital accessibility ensures people of all abilities have easy online access. This is a process of ensuring digital products, such as websites, mobile apps, statements, invoices, documents, and forms, are all free of barriers that might prevent people with vision, hearing, mobility, and other disabilities from using.

It is important that workplaces make digital experiences available to any user to ensure information and communication benefits everyone.

10 ways of incorporating digital accessibility in a workplace include:

  1. Ensure simple headings and spacing - use easy-to-read fonts with consistent thickness
  2. Utilize color contrast and text size - include readable text in 12-to-18-point font size with sufficient contrast to the background (the default of black on white is an accessible combination)
  3. Clearly label form fields and buttons - include explicit labels, visually and in the code
  4. Provide alternatives to print formats - various methods to access printed, written, or visual information including large print, digital, audio and braille
  5. Describe what is on the screen during meetings and presentations - say all the information and describe them to the extent needed to understand
  6. Consider responsive design - establish dynamic layouts of online content and elements that adjusts according to device and resolution (ex. desktop vs mobile)
  7. Provide meaningful alternative text descriptions on images or charts - describe the details of the image for individuals with visual impairments
  8. Provide closed captions, transcripts, or audio descriptions - an option for individuals with hearing impairments to read a written transcription of the audio as it occurs
  9. Provide screen readers - assistive technology that enables individuals with visual impairments to render text and image content as speech or braille output
  10. Allow keyboard-only navigation - for users who may not be able to operate a mouse, include interactive and navigational elements easily accessible by a few keys and display a keyboard-focus indicator

Accessible design practices such that individuals with disabilities, sensory impairments, cognitive impairments, and physical limitations, can successfully use a device or product, ensures that everyone can participate equally. Incorporating accessibility ultimately contributes to a universal design that benefits all and improves the user experience for everyone.

There are no limits to what your organization can achieve when the technology being used reflects the diversity of everyone.

CEO and Founder at Be. Accessible, Minnie Baragwanath says "if you're not designing accessibility in, chances are you're designing it out." Apply these lessons as building blocks to the better, healthier, and more accessible society we will build moving forward.