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5 Key Ideas to Promote a Culture of Accessibility

PERKS Editorial Team

PERKS Editorial Team

·

November 15, 2021

5 Key Ideas to Promote a Culture of Accessibility

Why accessibility is crucial to DEI

Accessibility cannot live separately from an organization’s DEI efforts. More than just considering factors such as gender, age, race, and sexual identity, it’s equally important to think about what inclusion looks like for those with visual impairments, hearing disabilities, etc. How do we build accessibility into the culture of our workplace?

We list five characteristics of a mindset of accessibility below.

1. Fixed policies and procedures

There are specific guidelines in place for everybody to follow to remain compliant when it comes to accessibility. Some organizations use the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), US Section 508 guidelines, or regional standards. Depending on your location, these guidelines will prioritize accessibility within your organization. Make sure they are held up to standard and posted so everyone is aware.

2. Training

Companies that display accessibility culture should provide training to employees so they are aware of the necessary guidelines, as well as how accessibility impacts their workday. Employees should receive regular training for specific departments that relate to their positions.  For example, train IT on evaluating software tools for usability and marketers in accessibility for social media.

3. Team members are held accountable

Make sure that there’s a point of contact and specific procedure in place for individuals to share feedback on what is needed. This goes for specific or interpersonal situations as well as overall improvements that may be needed across the organization. Including rewards and recognition in the day-to-day might help your team members be more consistent with their accountability.

4. Be inclusive

Organizations should work alongside people with disabilities (PWD) to determine what is needed to create a more inclusive culture. Communication and feedback are key to actively include PWD. Remember this is an ongoing process, as accessibility can and should change to reflect the diversity within your organization.

5. It’s not rocket science 🚀

Remember that it’s everyone’s responsibility to promote a culture of accessibility in your organization. This is a portion of your overall DEI initiatives and has to be laid within the fabric of your company culture. Establish the kind of psychological safety needed so that no one is afraid to bring up a compliance issue. Anyone should feel comfortable suggesting ways to be more inclusive and accessible.  

When you foster a culture of accessibility at your workplace, you bolster your DEI initiatives and promote inclusivity and belonging. The idea of providing accessibility to individuals within an organization ultimately promotes productivity and efficiency for all. It goes beyond simply compliance; an organization’s efforts to help team members feel valued enhances overall company culture and employee happiness.