Missed our 12 Days of Accessibilty over on social media? Don’t worry, you can catch up below – here are 12 useful tips for being a more accessible business.
For day one, I want to talk about lighting your premises… 💡 By this time, you’ve probably already decorated your business for Christmas, but do you think about lighting in your space all year round? 🤔 Many offices and shops have bright, fluorescent lighting which is terrible for people who are prone to migraines or sensitive to light. If you work at a computer, do you have blue light filters on your screen? And is there appropriate overhead lighting? 💻 There’s lots to think about when it comes to accessible lighting, but the right decisions can make the world of difference for your team and visitors 👨🏽🤝👨🏼
For Day 2 of my 12 Days of Accessibility, and it’s all about… wayfinding! 🔄 Wayfinding is a term that describes how people navigate around physical spaces. Signage, floor arrows, doorways and staircases are all part of wayfinding ↩ So, how does wayfinding impact accessibility? During the pandemic, we saw many businesses introduce one-way entrances and exits to minimise people crossing paths… but some shops ended up with only one accessible doorway 👨🦽 Accessible wayfinding also requires clear signage, floor markings and maps 🗺
Have you considered wayfinding in your business?
For Day 3 of our 12 Days of Accessibility, we’re moving online… let’s talk about colours for digital accessibility 🎨💻 Did you know that colour and contrast is an important part of digital accessibility? If your colours are too bright or not contrasted enough, people may not be able to use your website and you might even lose customers 📲
💡 Not sure if your colours are accessible? Try the WebAIM Colour Contrast Checker Tool to make sure!
Subtitles and captions
It’s Day 4 of the 12 Days of Accessibility! ✨ Let’s talk about subtitles and captions…
Did you know there are over 11 million people who are deaf or hard of hearing in the UK? I’m one of them! 👂
I rely on captions and subtitles when consuming media. If you have a YouTube channel or make social media videos for your brand, subtitles are an absolute necessity.
Without good quality subtitles, you risk alienating a large part of your audience 📑
Find out more about captions here.
Today I want to talk about something that’s particularly important at this time of year… weatherproofing 🌨⛄
Making sure your premises are safe in all weathers is important for everyone, not just disabled people.
Earlier in the year, I visited the This Is Me offices to deliver an Accessibility Audit and one of the biggest risks I identified was the office’s concrete ramp.
During the cold weather, this ramp was liable to get thick with ice and become very slippery. Since it wasn’t possible to install a new, safer ramp, we discussed weatherproofing the area with grit 🧊
More about weatherproofing and accessibility in this case study
Let’s discuss signage! 🛑
Signs are a very important part of accessibility as most of us use them to navigate our way through a space.
When designing a sign for your premises, ask yourself the following questions:
🔵 Is the text clear and legible?
🔵 Are the colours well contrasted?
🔵 Is it clear what the sign is for?
Ask for opinions from your team about the signage and keep the language as simple as possible.
Next up, I want to chat about how you communicate with your customers.
Do you have a choice of ways your customer can get in touch? For some people, the telephone is ideal, while others prefer email or web chat 💬
Poor customer communication will turn people off… so make sure it’s clear how and when customers can get in touch with you 📞📩
Day 8 it’s all about alt text 📑
What is alt text? 🤔
Alt text is the text associated with an image online. Your alt text is read by Google, screen readers and other devices to determine the subject of the image.
This is a vital part of digital accessibility as many people who are blind or visually impaired use apps to read out loud what is on the website or social media.
💡 You can easily add alt text to your images on Facebook by posting via the Creator Studio or Hootsuite.
Lift and ramp maintenance
It’s Day 9, so it’s time to talk about lift and ramp maintenance.
Too often, I visit places that claim to be accessible only to find the ramp is broken/poorly maintained or the lift isn’t available 😠
A lift isn’t a luxury – it’s an absolute necessity for so many people, not least those in wheelchairs, on crutches or pushing prams 👨🦽
When’s the last time you carried out the necessary maintenance on your lifts? 📆
We’re in the home stretch of my 12 Days of Accessibility! ♿
For Day 10, we’re talking about hazards ⚡
Hazards are an important part of health and safety, not just accessibility. If you have obstructions in your shop, restaurant or office, you may be putting your team and customers in danger.
💡 Tackle hazards by making sure your team are aware of them at all times. You could also delegate one person as the Health and Safety Monitor, who is responsible for keeping areas clear from obstructions.
Surfaces and counter
It’s Day 11 of my 12 Days of Accessibility, so let’s chat about surfaces and counters in your premises.
Are your tills and tables accessible to people at different heights?
And what about your hand sanitising stations?
Take a look at this blog post from earlier in the year all about accessibility to retail and hospitality, which includes a FREE checklist for your venue.