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Demystifying digital accessibility webinar

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What is digital accessibility? (Spoiler: it’s making sure we design and develop websites, systems, and digital content and experiences which are accessible by everyone – including disabled users.) This webinar was held on 14 March 2024.

We took a look at the principles behind it and why it’s vital (and often overlooked) in today’s organisations. We thought about how it can benefit staff, clients and customers, and how ensuring best practice in digital accessibility can act as a strong foundation to help to foster an inclusive and diverse organisational culture. We also considered the practical challenges which are faced when embedding best practice in digital accessibility into ways of working, and how applying change management principles can provide an effective toolkit for approaching and assisting with this.

The Equality Act (2010) broadly protects certain characteristics, including the rights of disabled people so that everyone can have equal access to participate in society. This includes online and digital spaces, and it’s therefore vital to make sure that our organisations, services, digital content, and ways of working are set up in the right way to accommodate the needs of a diverse audience so that everyone can feel included and engaged. This includes considering best practice in a wide range of contexts – from the documents you make and use, the websites you build, the development cycles you follow, to the IT solutions you procure, and the online meetings you host. Good digital accessibility is more than just meeting our legal obligations, it’s the right thing to do. Without an inclusive approach, you could be at risk of excluding people, whether that’s team members, or potential customers.

There are principles, standards, and best practice which we need to follow, and these can often take a certain amount of time, effort, and expertise to interpret, but you don’t have to be an expert to get to grips with the basics. The journey to becoming more accessible is exactly, that – a journey rather than a quick fix. There are ways in which you can embed good digital accessibility into ways of working sustainably and effectively by following small steps to ensure the change management process is as smooth as possible.

Jade has very kindly allowed her presented material to be made available for viewing.
The slides on Slideshare are now available in our APM resources area and also embedded below for your reference.

Speaker -

Jade Matos Carew, Head of Digital, Accessibility and Usability, The Open University

Jade is Head of Digital Accessibility and Usability at the Open University. She looks after the Accessibility and Usability Evaluation team, which is responsible for evaluating and developing the accessibility and usability of systems, websites, and digital content, helping to embed best practice, creating and delivering guidance and training for staff, and acting as a centre of expertise.

Jade is an education professional with a wide background in teaching, teacher training, and inclusive pedagogy. She joined the OU as a product manager with a specialism in accessibility and usability and user research and has certifications in product, project, and change management. Jade also has IAAP CPACC certification and an MA in special educational needs and disability. She is a doctoral researcher at the OU, investigating accessibility education and professional development.

APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition

1.3.3 Sustainability
2.3.2 Transition of project outputs
3.1 Stakeholder engagement and communication Management
3.2.6 Diversity and inclusion
3.3.6 Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

This webinar was suitable for professionals with any level of experience.



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