Be an ally to disabled people by making your digital content accessible
“I don’t work with or teach anyone who has a disability”. This is a phrase I heard quite often when I was working on digital accessibility at Sheffield Hallam. Statistically, this is highly unlikely as approximately 1 in 5 people in the UK is disabled; what is more likely is people have chosen not to disclose their disability and are finding time-consuming ways of getting by.
We live in an increasingly digital world so ensuring our content is accessible to the widest possible audience is vital. Simple changes can make a profound difference and many of these changes benefit all users as well as additional benefits such as improving search engine optimization in the case of descriptive links. It was amazing speaking to color-blind staff when I was doing this work about how simple changes were transformational in their ability to engage with content.
To start making your content more accessible we would encourage you to complete the university’s mandatory digital accessibility training. This should only take around one hour to complete and uses the SCULPT model to explain how making changes to the structure, colour, use of links, plain English, and tables can have a transformational impact on disabled people’s ability to fully engage with your content.
Written by Nick Russell