Today is International Day of People with Disability, a celebration of ability, diversity and inclusion. This year’s theme is ‘Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world’ – a call for businesses, local communities and all members of the public to think outside the box when it comes to accessibility. It’s everyone’s responsibility to consider accessibility.
Innovation is one of Sunnyfield’s core values. We’re always striving to be innovative in the services and supports we deliver and, most importantly, how we deliver them. Accessibility plays a role in every area of life, from education and employment opportunities to workplace set-up right through to small tasks like grocery shopping or a doctor’s visit. But it’s not always black and white. Accessibility is unique to the individual and requires continual improvement and evolution as we move through different life stages. Hence the need for innovative thinking to build an accessible and inclusive future. So, where do you begin? The answer is simple; don’t assume but rather ask, ‘how can we better support your needs?’
To get you started, here are a few ways you can improve accessibility:
Did you know that there is a diverse range of assistive technology that can be used in workplaces and learning environments? Technology can play a powerful role in improving access to education for students with disability. Our School Leaver Employment Supports program uses C-Pen Readers, which use AI technology for text-to-speech. Students can scan the text, and the pen will read it out loud, translate it into a different language or explain the definition.
Make your social posts more accessible
Everyone’s on social – including users with different accessibility needs. Show your support and apply these easy techniques when you post:
- Add closed captions to videos
- Add alt text to images
- Capitalise your hashtags like this #InternationalDayOfPeopleWithDisability
Installing braille and tactile signage is a great start. But have you ever considered colour combinations? Certain background and foreground colour combinations can be a disadvantage for people with visual limitations. There are many online tools that can assist in checking colour combinations.
Conduct an audit of your workplace
How can your workplace better meet the needs of a person with disability? By conducting an audit and modifying your workplace environment, you will open up the doors for more employment opportunities for people with disability. Some changes may include:
- Providing accessible parking
- Providing accessible bathrooms
- Providing ramps, tactile indicators, or assistance for staircases
- Updating the environment of the office to include accessible equipment